Where, Oh Where, Did My Innovation Go?


There is a balance to be struck between societal norms and unfettered creative flight. I have found that when the traditional “shoulds” outweigh free-wheeling brainstorming, innovation diminishes. Young kids never doubt their creativity or their ability to invent on the fly, while my clients often believe that they are too busy or not creative enough to think “outside the box.” This disempowering belief stems from our own critical beliefs that you, me, we have little to contribute to being innovative. To reignite the fire of creative insights, we need to lighten up and believe that our perspectives can significantly make a difference.

My counsel – lighten up! Creativity is fluid, not rigid. Loosen up on your definition of what is ‘right” and what is “wrong.” Set aside your ego, preconceived notions, fears, and preconceived rules. When you loosen up on your need to perfect, you are giving yourself permission to see new possibilities. Be insatiably curious and ask, “What’s another perspective that I may not have considered previously? Trust your intuition. Act. Move. Respond. This helps you recontextualize the world around you.

Model the behavior you want to see in others. As you give yourself permission to be innovative and disruptive to the status quo, you should also give the same permission to others. Make space for sharing and accepting ideas. Encourage others and yourself to be a bit sloppy and “far out” in your exploration of being innovative. Ask others to risk sharing their insights, best practices, and breakthrough thinking with you. Likewise share your “Aha” moments with others. Together look for the gaps between the current state and what is possible. Most gaps represent opportunities for problems to be solved, processes to be developed, and organization game-changers to emerge.

When we hold loosely onto how something has to look or function, we open up ourselves to make the visible invisible through modeling the behavior we want to see in others. If we treat everyone as having innovative ideas, guess what – they will behave accordingly.

Warm wishes and may you keep stretching outside the box.

Written By: Clyde Lowstuter

About the Author

Clyde Lowstuter, MCC
President & CEO | Master Certified Coach, Robertson Lowstuter, Inc.

Clyde is a peak performance Executive Coach and CEO of R|L. He has been a visionary thought leader and pioneer in the field designing and leading corporate coaching and team building since 1975. Read Full Bio


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