Leaders verbally interjecting the principles of innovative thinking and questioning into discussions will over time have a powerful positive affect on an organization.
When I say ‘Speaking Innovation,’ I am not referring to speaking about innovation or the fact that I am a professional business keynote innovation speaker. No, here I am addressing the act of consciously ‘speaking innovation’ as a way to encourage and foster it within your organization.
When we make it our habit to ‘speak innovation’ in the course of our normal workday, what we are doing is actively reinforcing our belief that innovation is the primary way in which we can and intend to move our organization forward to the achievement of our strategic goals. Speaking innovation is the act of incorporating our belief in innovation into the mindset in which we approach everything we do.
Most people have heard various wise adages regarding thinking and speaking positively and how doing so can influence outcomes and this is certainly true. If you approach any task or project with a negative attitude, it is unlikely the results will be exceptional, whereas if you do so with a positive attitude and expectations, the odds of attaining those desired outcomes rises dramatically.
The same holds true for our commitment to innovation. If we inject the theme of ‘innovation’ into our conversations in a meaningful way and encourage those around us to do likewise, it will help set the tone for whatever we are about to do. This creates a positive expectation that our work will embrace innovative thinking and the results will demonstrate exceptional outcomes.
This is especially important for leaders within the organization. Let’s face it, people take their cues from their leaders. They watch and listen for what their leaders are saying and how they respond. Leaders who inject innovation as a basis for action and respond positively when others do likewise, will see their people following their lead.
The old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do,” does not work. However, “Do as I say and watch what I do,” results both in winning our peoples’ respect and admiration as well as positively influencing their behavior. ‘Speaking innovation’ as a natural part of our daily activities reinforces our own commitment to innovation as well as causing our people to emulate our actions in their own approach to business issues.
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John Di Frances is an Open Innovation Strategist and Strategic Planning Facilitator assisting companies and not-for-profit- organizations globally since 1983. John is also an internationally acclaimed keynote business speaker. He is the author of several business books, including his latest, MINDING THE GIRAFFES: The People Side of Innovation (2012). His newest book, The CEO’s Guide to Strategic Planning is scheduled for release in 2015.