Planting The Seeds Of Inspiration: The Key To Unlock Your Innovation

18 12 2012

You’re walking down the hall to the monthly strategic meeting with your team.  Armed with your iPad, pen and pad of paper, you take your seat.  Interestingly enough, it is the same seat you always take during this meeting.  It is the seat you are most comfortable in.   Frankly, prior to the meeting, you can predict, with precise detail, who will sit in each of the seats around the table.  This typical scenario is a symptom of a syndrome suffered by the vast majority of teams.  Imagine if everyone was forced to sit somewhere else.  They would think it was a terrible joke.  Many would be visibly upset and actually say something.  Others would simply feel uncomfortable and remain quiet.

comfort zone

People typically gravitate towards their comfort zone.  They crave predictability.  Most often, our colleagues cringe with the thought of change.  And yet, it is within this group that you must innovate in order to survive.  This is the group who gets frustrated by your forcefulness to bring about change and who frustrates you as well when the resistance inevitably shows itself.

  • How do you bring your innovation into this culture?
  • How do you ignite the inspirational flame inside your team to drive your innovative thought through the operation all the way to implementation?

To be an Eye-Cubed Leader, you have learned about Corporate Hydrology and Corporate Dendochronology .  Today, we will focus on Corporate Horticology, applying the study of gardening and plant cultivation to the innovation within your business.

Inspiration, like horticology, requires a seed of thought to be planted into the minds of others and for that seed to grow into an uncontrollable desire to act.  This is a process that requires work and time, two variables that leaders typically ignore when a possible solution is uncovered in the form of an innovation.  Farmers would never have a crop if seeds were not planted or of they chose to harvest too early.  The same is true for the corporate hortocologist.

Here is the process:

  1. Take the time to plant the seeds of inspiration one at a time by meeting individually with each team member.  You need buy-in prior to your presentation at the group meeting to increase your chances of success.
  2. At the individual meetings, discuss the problem that needs resolution.  Agree on the “pain” this issue brings to your business.
  3. Strategize together about the vision of a company free from the problem.  What would improve?
  4. Ask the following question (in your words):  “If we can agree on a plan to solve this problem, would that make us a better company?”
  5. Discuss possible solutions.  Brainstorm ideas that may work.  Do not limit your discussion by what you think is or is not possible.  Throughout your discussion, encourage creativity.
  6. Include your innovation in the conversation as a possible solution.  Spend the time discussing it so that it is understood clearly by your colleague.

planting seedsTHEN WAIT!……………….You may need to repeat steps 1-6 again at a later date or time.   As you discuss the possible solutions in the future, open up the dialogue to allow for the solutions to be raised by either you or your colleague.  Over time, the conversation will become fluid, and the most feasible solution will be clear.  Be aware that your idea or method of solution might not be the best way to solve the problem.  It may not be the appropriate idea to bring forward as the primary innovation to test.  That is the beauty of fostering the Eye-Cubed culture.  The collective minds within your organization will take innovation to a higher level, continually being inspired and ready to implement.

Once you have buy-in among the leaders of your team, it is time for the big day—the presentation at your strategic meeting.  Never underestimate this opportunity.  That, my colleagues, is the topic for our next class.

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you. 

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29 01 2013
Strategic Planning II: Not a 12 month process! « Eye-Cubed-U

[…] Gaining consensus on the pain the organization is feeling without the innovation, and using the meetings and planning sessions to get the innovation on the list for the year is more complex than originally thought.  In order to gain buy-in, one must follow a process (see POST). […]

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