Innovation Now!

As a tribute to Steve Jobs, I want to throw a little gasoline on the fire of his passing – let’s light up the sky with some innovation a’la’  Jobs!!  As many of you know, I have been a big fan of Mr. Jobs for a long time.  I remember in elementary school that my father brought home a computer for the first time – the Apple IIe.  My life has been fueled at every stage by Steve Jobs focus on bringing new ways of computing, communicating, listening and participating to the world. Where would we be without the innovators?

So what do we need to do to stoke the innovation fire, even when our corporate cultures are not used to it?

1.) Develop and Encourage Innovation Behaviors

Big picture thinking, divergent thinking, collaboration, experimentation, scenario planning and daydreaming with purpose are all important for innovation. Developing those behaviors can happen through traditional training, or through experiential learning.

2.) Reward Great Ideas

Are we punishing mistakes, or rewarding good thinking? What are some simple, non-monetary rewards you can use with your team when they innovate?

3.) Tap the Strengths Inherent in our Divergent Thinkers

Who on your team is naturally creative? Asking team members to use their natural strengths is motivating and engaging for them, and ultimately benefits everyone if they are empowered to succeed.  How can you carve out time for your divergent thinkers to tackle issues in the organization? Are you asking them provocative questions to get their best ideas?

RIP Steve Jobs.


About karlinsloan

Karlin Sloan has committed herself to finding out what makes great leaders tick, and to supporting leaders to be the change they wish to see in the world. As a corporate citizen she is an advocate for triple-bottom-line reporting, for creating sustainable ways of working and living, and for creating positive organizational communities that work together for the greater good. She is the author of the acclaimed business book Smarter, Faster, Better; Strategies for Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilled Leadership which has been translated into Thai and Russian, UNFEAR: Facing Change in an Era of Uncertainty, and co-author of the 2012 book Lemonade: The Leaders Guide to Resilience at Work. For more information see or
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