Innovation & The Mind
I’m finding it so interesting as I spend time at global clients, read articles and reflect upon my own life how much innovation and creativity come up as important components to success and well-being. And yet, when we take a look at the basic conditions and mindset needed to fuel innovation, our norms at home and in many workplaces seem to reward contradictory behaviors. What do I mean?
We Pay Lip Service to the Basics – We all inherently know that adequate sleep, movement and a balanced diet contribute to our health but are also key ingredients for a mind that can be open for new experiences and thus creative thought. Yet, overwhelming evidence shows a large number of people aren’t applying these basics to their own life.
We Place High Value on Busyness – The typical response to a “How are you?” these days is “busy”. My response lately is, “I aspire to tell you I’m not overly busy” which is just a way of hiding my own busyness. Minds that have no time to recharge and are constantly multi-tasking on email, text, social media, blog browsing (and the list goes on) don’t have capacity for innovative and creative thought. Innovative thinking comes from a place of open awareness, similar to those ‘aha’ moments in the shower or while on a nature walk.
What do we do about it?
Take An Inventory – How many times a week are you double or triple booked and trying to meet all of the demands by being on the phone while typing another email? Or taking a work call when driving the kids to an activity? Or texting while having a conversation with someone? Take one day and really pay attention to your busyness and then write it down. Understand the reality of your own situation.
Take A Risk – In most organizations busyness is valued but most say they want innovative thinkers. Why not make the innovative thought value come to life in a small way? Open a meeting with a creative touch such as a closed-eye visualization exercise? Ask people to go around the room and simply tell each other about their dream vacation to stimulate more awareness and creative thinking. Or maybe ask your organization to bring in a yoga for mindfulness instructor once per week.
I think I will stop there since I know you are very busy. I encourage you to try a few of these ideas and contact me for even more ways to encourage creative and innovative thought in your organization.
“Innovation takes practice more than talent.”