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5 Common Traps that Sink Innovation

Without regular reflection and renewed directions, surprisingly common traps in organizations we work within become sinkhole killers of novelty.

5 Common Traps that Sink Innovation

How so?

1. Mentoring practices encourage seasoned advisors to replicate outmoded practices. Have you seen old boys prevent new approaches better suited to rapidly changing horizons? Innovation requires a radical shift for mutual tutoring. An exchange that reflects more balanced coaching for change. Guidance that fosters innovation, is based on mutual brainpower potential and unique experiences, rather than on entitlement, age or seniority. Mindguiding, for instance, offers more reciprocal learning-leading opportunities. Novel approaches, not replication of old practices, lead to winning ideas along new neural pathways of innovative discoveries.

2. Ego crazed leaders live in denial of ethics or emotions required for workplace renewal. If your workforce craves a renewed leader who inspires talents in others, cultivates value in teams, or illustrates mental values for care and curiosity, you likely suffer its opposite where you work.  Innovation takes leadership with ethics at the helm and emotional intelligence for a risking taking culture. Renewed leaders tend to  encourage and reward innovators, in contrast to out-of-control egos, who plant barriers that diminish change and stomp on growth.

3. Bullies and cynics douse fires that can generate courage for risk taking and innovation. New studies from the University of California, San Diego, give a sharper image of what goes on in the brains of bullies or cynics who respond with inappropriate anger and aggression to perceived threats of change. Preliminary findings from these studies suggest that such behavior is associated with a hyperactive response in the amygdala, an area of the brain that processes information regarding threats and fear. With less activity in the frontal lobe, a brain region linked to decision-making and impulse control, bullies see situations more from their own needs and act to get what they want, regardless of negative consequences to growth at work.

4. When toxins replace play at work, then doldrums substitute for discovery. Less than 30% of corporate workers care less about their jobs and 20% want to undermine co-workers. No wonder the US is headed down slippery slopes of brokenness. We constantly hear calls for more jobs. Fun and discovery come together through cultivating job satisfaction, however, not in creating more jobs at toxic workplaces.  As economic pressures increase, more and more people complain of lack of character building or ethical values in toxic workplaces. Research by Cooper now allows people to rate their own job satisfaction by rating 22 items as honestly as you can, and receive a score back.  Help the brain to see precisely what kills innovation where you work, and allow fun and discovery take you to where you hope to arrive.

5. Meetings are ghost gatherings, where it’s easier to move a graveyard that offer new ideas. We’ve discovered that most workplace meetings are more brain draining than empowering, more time wasting that productive. It doesn’t have to be that way. Take this survey to determine your meeting’s innovative IQ. How many items on the next meeting agenda will lead to the innovation that transforms work and offers opportunities to grow.

How many innovations land in sinkhole traps where you work? Why not dip instead into the vast pool of brainpowered strategies and transform ruts and routines into innovation opportunities for the coming week?

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