In my last post, I wrote about how experience, expertise, is an enemy of innovation. The illusion of expertise, where years of experience create a mental roadblock to new ideas, can significantly hamper innovation. It doesn’t just apply to people but to groups; called groupthink, which is expert thinking on steroids!
“How come we’ve never heard of you? Everyone who works here has been in the industry for at least 25 years.” I was told this earlier this year by a VP of a company I consulted for. I sensed some hostility from his comment. Of course, I was brought in to help shake things up precisely because this company has been doing business the same way they’ve always done it.
Where do you thrive? Some people thrive under pressure, others don’t. Personally, I like the intensity of pressure and uncertainty; I naturally look to put myself in those situations. And, when I was younger I thought everyone else should too. But, it doesn’t work that way. Some of us thrive in situations where we have to turn shit into sugar while others don’t.
Leadership is about enabling others to be great. The best leaders do this by creating an environment, a culture, where people can thrive. The best leaders know a strong team culture is a powerful asset that can propel a group of individuals to achieve remarkable results. It fosters collaboration, enhances communication, and cultivates a sense of belonging.
Innovation, that mythical activity that results in both incremental and exponential progress gets a lot of attention in the business press. From small business leaders to corporate leaders, they all want it in some way; but most don’t know what it is and how it actually happens.
A few years ago I read Think Like a Rocket Scientist, which is very practical and bursting with insights on how to think better in order to solve problems and achieve your goals. The author, Ozan Varol, is a former rocket scientist. Varol’s insights are based on his own personal journey as well as his extensive research on problem-solving and creativity.