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Ideas to Improve Your Performance
  • When you are working to create innovative approaches, products, or services, get crystal clear about the problem you wish to solve or the condition that you want to improve. That will ensure that the ideas you generate have relevance versus just brainstorming creative ideas.


  • I remind my clients that when it comes to innovation you need to be impatient with behaviors and patient with results. Sure innovation takes time, but making sure leaders behave in a way that encourages innovation and promotes empowerment can happen quickly.



How are you fostering innovation?



Last week I was with a group of senior leaders in Fortune 500 technology company working on innovation. They were wrestling with what more they could do to gain greater competitive advantage using innovation as a key theme for the business. One of the conclusions that we discussed was the fact that creating a culture of innovation has less to do with having a lot of people who have natural tendencies toward being innovative, and more to do with the environment. Very innovative professionals, who are in an environment that is very risk averse and doesn't allow for much autonomy or empowerment, tend not to be particularly innovative. On the other hand, competent professionals in an environment that provides some latitude on how results are achieved and enables them to make decisions that influence the results of their work, tend to drive many more creative ideas that can be leveraged for greater success.  


Of course, having both factors is optimal, but if you had to choose, which would you rather have? Provided that most innovation occurs incrementally, I'd suggest the latter. When I've conducted research to determine what separates leaders who produce great innovation versus those who don't, what I observed is that the best don't really try to be innovative. They focus, instead on creating an environment where innovation thrives everywhere. If you are interested in reading more on this topic, here is a link to my Forbes article from a couple of years ago titled, Don't Innovate. Create A Culture Of Innovation.



A Slice of Life Balance           


  • Summer is over and most of us won't have much time off until the holiday season. That doesn't mean that you can't have some downtime though. Make sure you are taking some each week, even if it is a couple of hours here or there to do something for just you. Watch a game. Play a sport (exercise doesn't count), or read a book for pleasure. And that doesn't have to be only on the weekend.



  • I'm featured as an expert in this article from Harvard Business Review called The Professional's Guide to a Stress Free Vacation. Completely free of stress is aspirational, of course, but enjoy it and let me know if you have other techniques that work for you.