And Innovation and Creativity Will Follow…

 stopped by Dr. Ellen Weber’s blog yesterday ( and joined her discussion on “rewarding the high-performance mind.” A quote from her blog caught my attention as I realized she nailed one of the key challenges of today’s business world:

“Most organizations knock out exuberance and annihilate curiosity, which is the heartbeat of talent.” (Dr. Ellen Weber,

Innovation and creativity follow from “exuberance and…curiosity.” You cannot create new revenue streams, new products, new businesses, new processes (you get the idea) from the same old, same old. And, if the company culture (also known as senior management) is not willing to reward high-performance thinking, eventually mediocrity takes over.

I know that it is easier to not upset the apple cart by encouraging employees to be innovative. I have actually had managers say to me that the cost of a bad idea is too high to encourage “out of the box” thinking.

Many who say they want innovative programs don’t really. As I said in my response to Dr. Weber, some clients say they “want” innovative programs but the true statement should be “we want innovative and creative as long as it doesn’t change the way we do business because it would be too much to change and you (the consultant) can do it without any internal resources.”
It is a challenge to help a motivated senior management team to change…it is impossible to change a team that isn’t willing to “do the work” required to help the organization really change.

To be a great business, you need great people. And to have great people, they have to feel like they can make a difference. They have to feel valued and rewarded; and they have to feel safe in order to step beyond the known into “what could be.”

I encourage all of us in management to ask ourselves if we have created the kind of environment our staff is excited to be a part of and, if not, why not.

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