Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

Blandness Wins and Failure Looms

Posted by Brad Hall on Mar 17, 2016 9:57:31 AM

You sit in the hard backed chair, the ultimate torture device, it’s somehow not uncomfortable but so close that it constantly weighs on your mind as you sit in it.  The fluorescent lights above you hum along at their steady pace and the air around you encompasses you in it’s mediocrity, not quite too hot, too cold, or too stuffy just bland.  Across from you the sun shines through the window and a flock of birds fly by, just enough to give you blissful seconds of a distraction.  Through it all comes the drone of someone talking; you try and pinpoint it as your mind wanders.  You feel like it’s something important, something you should be listening to but you struggle to pin point it.  You look to your right and see the same blank look on the faces of people you feel like you should know.  As you sweep your view back to the left your brain kicks into high gear as you piece together the puzzle and the realization that the voice is coming from your boss explaining the next year’s strategy dawns on you.  Relief, as you listen you realize it’s the same tried and true strategy that has been used for the four years you’ve been here.  Well at least close enough that it won’t affect your daily life in anyway.  Suddenly he announces the end to the meeting and with glee you pack up your things ecstatic to be done for the day and already thinking about the project you’re working on at home.

Motivation is the crux of all things; without it we fall into a pit of despair as nothing gets completed but with it we enter a joyous world where everything is possible and everything is achieved.  The issue is that nothing can be more boring and more tedious to listen to than a new strategy for the company and if employees aren’t motivated by the strategy you have to work 10X as hard to get them motivated to do the work that achieves it.

The solution is to take a chance and take a risk with your strategy.  Thinkinnovation imagination back to the days of when you were a child and everything in the world was amazing to you.  Your imagination explosive to turn the mundane into the extraordinary.  Then, fast forward to high school or college when you took a creative writing class and reawakened that spirit inside yourself and brought the imaginary to paper.  Back then you had nothing to fear and nothing to lose taking a chance with your writing.  You could be bold, brave, and say things that were only fantasy because you weren’t afraid of the consequences.

Now you’re scared with something as big as strategy you feel like you can’t take a chance that you have to play it safe but the reality is if you do the strategy will fail.  In order to motivate your employees you have to take a chance and use language of passion and emotions to get to them and help them see why they should care about what you have to say.  Take a chance and speak to their emotions and their dreams to convince them that they should listen to what you have to say and care about what you’re saying.

It can be uncomfortable to do at first so to practice I challenge you to spend 10-30 minutes and create a short story about a person that has all their senses heightened and can see, feel, touch, smell, and hear things at twice the strength of a normal person.

Topics: innovation, strategy

Brad Hall

Written by Brad Hall

Brad is Brand Manager at Eureka! Ranch with a true passion for education. As an Innovation Engineering educator, he is not only an executive education instructor, but has also taught Innovation Engineering for more then a few years at a university level while getting his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and while working on his Masters in Education. Brad is infamous in the Innovation Engineering community for being tough on all his students, no matter their age or job title. He routinely provides diversity and a critical eye to teams creating and improving ideas for innovative products, services, and systems Brad is an avid gamer who lives in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


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