Want Innovation? Be Open Minded

Mid February was the NBA All Star Game. As I mentioned in a post I wrote, for some time the ASG was struggling to be the best pick up game in the world. But the changes made to the format of the ASG made it great again.


The person behind the idea that stuck was Chris Paul, the point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. But the person responsible for making it all happen was NBA Commissiones Adam Silver.

Lets stick with the example from above – the online promotion of an event: as an online marketer, you are very likely to advertise and spread the campaign through various online channels, like your social media channels, e-mail invitations to your e-mail user base, promotion on external event promotion websites through utm-generator.com and possibly through display ads.

You see, the ASG would not have changed if it wasn’t for his open mindedness. He knew fans felt they weren’t getting the best pick up game in the world, and understood changes needed to be made; which ones was the question.

The experiments to change the NBA format begun a few years ago, it was a start but not the end. Without his willingness to be open to ideas from anywhere the changes would not have happened!

As a leader you have to be open to possibilities

As a consultant I’ve had the most positive experience with leaders who are open minded. People who are not afraid of experimenting, learning and growing. You see, most leaders are protectors of the status quo. They get paid to keep the wheels turning and not mess with what works. And any ideas that come from the outside or inside, from employees, are quickly shut down. Sometimes it’s simply because of ego, most of the time it’s because of fear and hubris.

But hubris and expertise a key enemies of innovation. With that said, the best leaders are open minded. They encourage and model an “ideas come from anywhere” perspective. They do this because they’re genuinely curious, and know that thinking they know everything is a cause for stagnation.

So, go out and explore!

Bottom line: The ability to change your mind is your greatest weapon, as well as your organization’s. That starts with being open to possibilities and trying stuff until you find something that works.