Lighting the Fire of Innovation

By Chris Ihrig

Innovation doesn’t happen by chance. In an article published in the October issue of Journal for Quality and Participation, Randy Spitzer, Lead Practitioner at Fired-Up! Culture discusses how to foster creativity in the workplace by focusing on three things:

        • Adopting and encouraging a creative mindset
        • Building and sustaining a vibrant and healthy workplace environment
        • Providing a disciplined process for making creativity and innovation an everyday part of the culture

Excerpt from the article:

For most people, exercising a growth mindset requires a work environment that allows and encourages them to experiment and try new ways of doing things. People also need leaders who understand the energizing effect of an empower- ing work environment and who are committed to a set of shared values that will sustain such an environment. These values include the following:

  • Authenticity. These leaders capitalize on their strengths, relying on others around them to compensate for their weaknesses. They see themselves as “servant leaders,” inspiring and equipping others in the organization to choose work that allows them to fully utilize their core strengths.
  • Partnership. Leaders who build relationships respect the rights of individuals for self- expression, while also believing deeply in the power of partnership and the opportunities that are inherent in collaboration.
  • Community. These leaders are committed to building a healthy, thriving community; they respect the autonomy of each individual. In exchange for extending such a high level of trust, each member of the community is expected to contribute their unique experience, expertise, and leadership for the betterment of the community.
  • Responsibility. Leaders take responsibility for building and maintaining a healthy workplace environment where people feel free to learn, grow, and be their very best. In exchange, people are expected to take responsibility for doing their jobs without the need for monitoring or direct supervision.
  • Accountability. These leaders have a passion for people and a real desire to serve. They do their best and are accountable for the results they produce and expect the same from every member of the organization. Encouraging people to be their very best each and every day is always a challenge.

Excerpt from THE JOURNAL FOR QUALITY & PARTICIPATION October 2013 reprint with permission.