What if you took one risk to lead a change that would improve a core practice where you work? Could that move set innovation in motion across an entire organization?
On Saturday at an RIT annual event, I spotted 5 questions about innovation that could transform indifference and lead organizational growth. At the Innovation Festival, novelty appeared to spring up at several junctures, and I captured a few snapshots while moving among young innovators.
Interestingly, I’d just read Seth Godin’s popular post on why higher education organizations meet with inevitable melt downs. Over a lifetime working with brain based change, I’ve grown convinced that innovative higher education can still lead us into the next era. But if Seth’s right, and I fear he is correct, what would it take to move more entrepreneurial minds and increase genius opportunities, on a university campus?
Often we hear people speak of innovative possibilities – and the word innovation appears – in some form or other – daily in social media commentaries. Sadly though, on a few occasions only, do we encounter glimpses of intellectual novelty operating within successful organizations.
1). How do successful innovators reach across differences to invent together? Organizations that look to land a fast fix or play politics, rarely bridge isolated silos of discipline, culture, gender or beliefs. It takes involvement from an institute’s top leadership, a willingness to invest time, and talent within teams that come from many sectors of society. Wonderfully creative ventures at RIT could have melded ideas from many departments had the networks been available for more mental cross-pollination. People possess multiple intelligences in different mixes that contribute to collaboration.
2). How do organizations move past lethargy to cultivate curiosity? While tenure or seniority tend toward inertia in some workplaces, innovative leaders sometimes stir interest out of organizational apathy. Using this same format, what if all organizations, in ways that RIT campus engaged in an innovation festival, celebrate innovation annually? At the MITA International Brain Center – participants create an innovative design from lessons learned, and then engage others in a Knowledge Celebration which somewhat resembles the RIT festival.
3). What kind of roadmap does innovation across an organization require? In settings where I see leaders running on treadmills, and many employees gaining no ground, pieces of the organization’s overarching plan appear to be missing or disjointed. The opposite is also true. Wherever you spot people linking new ideas successfully across departments, or producing innovative ventures that draw from differences, you also see an overarching network. Interconnected highways and bridges, clearly marked to welcome new people, and structured to accommodate diverse ideas.
4). How do innovative organizations reboot creativity rather than default to cynicism? Leaders who risk movement forward, also risk criticism that gravitates to most change agents, like iron filings to a magnet. Innovative organizations simply prize risk-taking more than reward people for routine rituals. When innovative plans are created collaboratively and presented as an incremental pathway forward, people tend to jump on board for proven results. That creative leap tends to launch a track record for sustainable innovation. Nothing stops toxins within cynicism from stomping out new ideas, like innovations that spark a finer way forward.
5). Where does innovation fit into sacrosanct organizational structures? The opposite of renewal is to regress, and regression creeps into daily rituals like chaff clings to wheat. In contrast, people find passion to create when they are part of the innovative process of a robust organization. Creative minds rarely toss more talent into the mix by accident though. First, leaders and their reports determine what sacred cows must go, in order to open new segues for an entirely different outcome. Then, a cutting edge vision, transforms new neuron pathways forward for all those involved. Where does such potent innovation start?
Simply risk to change one organizational problem that found you venting recently. Could that movement forward set mind-bending innovation in motion across an entire organization? Or could it trigger an ingenious renewal move across our nation?
The RIT’ Innovation Festival showed brilliantly how aha moments ignite innovative change, as you’ll hear in live interviews below.
2). Hear Imagine RIT Festival as RIT President, Dr. William Destler tells his side of the Innovation story, and especially note his strong support for right brain and left brain collaboration.
3). Catch Dr. Barry Culhane, share news about the 35,000 people who stopped by, and the 2000 students and faculty who ran the event. Hear how RIT journalism students caught live news during the event.
Recent Posts for Learning Renewal at Secondary and University: