How Leaders Encourage Innovation and Squelch Needless Conformity | Ep. 143

One of the most dangerous things that a leader can say is “we’ve tried this before and it didn’t work.”

It’s so crucial for an organization to have team members who are innovative enough to bring new ideas to the table. Especially if you’re someone who’s been inside the box for so long, it’s refreshing to have people come in and help you take a look outside of the box.

One way to squash your team’s innovation is through shutting them down by outrightly rejecting their ideas.

Today’s guest, John Coyle is one of the world’s leading experts in design, thinking, and innovation. So we talk about how leaders can foster innovation in their organizations all while maintaining decisiveness. It’s not an easy feat as we know there are quite a few leaders out there who are so used to their old ways that they resist change and are unwilling to change, as well.

Some important highlights we bring into the discussion are:

• How leaders can foster innovation within the organization while maintaining decisiveness, and

• How to encourage your team to come up with innovative ideas and take action on the right ones

Don’t be that leader who shuts down their team’s innovative ways. Be the one that cultivates it!

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Discussion Points:

0:00 Introduction

2:19 A short story about the most dangerous words leaders use in their organizations

3:45 The 3-strike science behind a person’s creativity and innovative shutdown

5:25 How leaders can remain open to new ideas while being firm and decisive

6:36 Technique leaders can use to promote the team’s creative and innovative thinking

8:29 Effective ways to generate ideas from the team

9:47 Leaders shifting from project-based to people-based mindset — being the champion of your team’s ideas

10:56 Balancing the need for new ideas while sticking to your organization’s values and purpose

12:02 The Innovation Equation

15:05 Tips for leaders to transition from the boss who prevents innovative thinking to one that promotes it

17:53 Humility in leadership brings teams together

18:39 What about leaders who are resistant and unwilling to change?

20:39 Combining learner leadership and decisiveness

22:29 Action items for creating a balance between an innovative mindset and a decisive one

23:35 What happens then to the team members whose ideas were not chosen?

24:55 Best leaders make sure they act on the right ideas and give clear accountability to team members

26:57 Be willing to hear a NO or be prepared to make some tweaks so the NO becomes a YES 

About the Guest: 

John K. Coyle is one of the world’s leading experts in “Design Thinking” and Innovation. A highly sought-after speaker and lecturer, John is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Engineering – Product Design (Design Thinking) and Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of business with an MBA in organizational behavior, marketing and entrepreneurship.

A former head of innovation for a Fortune 500 wireless telecom, John has also been the SVP of innovation for a leading strategy consultancy. John is a world class athlete in two sports (cycling and speedskating) and an Olympic silver medalist, as well as an NBC Olympic Sports analyst, and a guest lecturer on Innovation at several leading universities (Kellogg, Marquette, CEDIM). 

John is a two-time TEDx speaker, and an award-winning author of two books, including the (2018) best seller: Design For Strengths: Applying Design Thinking to Individual and Team Strengths. John is also a thought leader in the field of “chronoception” – the neuroscience and psychology of how humans process time.

Resources: 

• Learn more about John Coyle by visiting his website: www.johnkcoyle.com

• Connect with John Coyle via LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnkcoyle1/ 

• Connect with John Coyle via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/johnkcoyle/

• John Coyle’s Books: https://johnkcoyle.com/design-for-strengths

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