We raise our Innovation Quotient by thinking new thoughts daily

Beyond Left or Right…

The more we learn about how brain grows, adapts, changes and—on the other extreme—falls into patterns of ‘stuck’ thinking, the more we see that a leader’s most important job is creating environments for innovation to flourish.

 Enhancing interaction during brainstorming sessions enables us to tap into our hardwired DNA and leverage the enormous capacity and deft flexibility of our brains to enhance innovation.

Thinking the same thoughts repeatedly lulls us into a sense of comfort. We think we know the “correct” answer, which reinforces feelings of intelligence and good judgment. We may not even realize we are in a repetitive loop, or are experiencing status quo thinking. Instead, we feel good that we got it right. Wise leaders raise their innovation quotient by challenging old innovation mythologies.

One of the oldest mythologies that blocks creativity is that innovation is a right brain activity only. In reality, we need to use our whole brain to be creative. Real innovation requires the use of strong analytical skills as well as creative skills. Without using both sides of our brain we undermine our ability to innovate.

By exercising both left and right brain, we can then boost our Innovation IQ, harness the power of our brains, and shape the emergence of great leaders.

Neuro-tip: To be more innovative we also need to learn to prime our brains to generate unsuppressed ideas, and give equal attention to divergence and convergence.

(Neuro-tip: Rex Jung, PhD.) (Illustrations by Peter Cutler)

First Day, New Job, Now What?

First Day, New Job, Now What?

People are often resistant to change because they think change means changing themselves. Many of us have a fear of change – but I think it's actually something deeper than fear of change. Under the surface, for many people change is really a fear of loss. Our mind plays many tricks on us.

Change = fear = risk = loss = loss of status. It's all hardwired.

That is why I wrote The Leadership Secret of Gregory Goose.

Gregory diligently practiced the Ground Rules at the pond. By watching other lead geese, he believed strongly that having 'power-over others' was what leadership was all about.

Yet one day, the hunters came to the pond and started to shoot at all the geese. In a time of crisis, Gregory discovered all the Power Rules no long served him well. While in the air, Gregory made a 'leadershift.' He turned to the other geese – trusting them to become leaders, and they did. They split their "V" into three and the hunters didn't catch one goose that day. Gregory called this 'power-with others'. He discovered his most important wisdom – sharing power releases the leadership instincts in others. 

First Day, New Job, Now What?Power Rule #1:  Power comes from how strongly you flap your wings…

Power Rule #2: Power comes from how loudly you honk…

Power Rule #3:Power comes from how much you honk…

Power Rule #4: Power comes from how well you strut…

Power Rule #5: Power comes from how fast and strong you are…

Geese in a row Power Rule #6: Power comes from your ability to peck…

Power Rule #7: Power comes from how well you keep other geese in line…

Or So He Thought!

For years I've been coaching and consulting to tough, smart leaders who are really comfortable using "honking, pecking, and strutting" leadership behaviors. They don't want to let go because these behaviors are tied into their positional power. They don't want people to think they are weak.

First Day, New Job, Now What?

As part of our work, leaders and I talk about what 'goose' behaviors represent and how they affect their ability to achieve their main business objectives. 

It's quite amazing what insights come out of this conversation. 

Often leaders will realize that when they are using power-over behaviors, the impact is that employees become 'followers'; they obey without question, and do not take risks. Instead of building high trust, organizations that are willing to experiment and trynew things, they end up with a compliant organization where fear of change is rampant – just the opposite of what they want to achieve.

Once leaders see there is a direct connection between their "power-over" leadership style and the results they are getting from their employees, they are free to change.

Within a short while, something miraculous happens; their team's resistance to change dissolves and productivity reins. This is a perfect example of how effective the Gregory model can be.

First Day, New Job, Now What?From Power-Over to Power-With

 Gregory offers a way to get anchored in a new type of leadership, which is 'moving from power-over to power-with'. Following the Gregory Workshop I recommend a process of peer coaching that involves having leaders who have gone through a Gregory Session together, meet on a regular basis – every six weeks or two months – where each of them commits to doing experiments using the seven new leadership behaviors that they want to model.

Leaders learn to share their experiences with each other and talk about the results that they're getting. This process creates a living organization that's really committed to a different type of leadership, and the stories the leaders share are crystal clear, real-life examples of what people are actually doing so they learn from each other about dramatically new and exciting ways to lead.

Gregory Goose Leadership Program Listen to the interview from the Jim Blasingame Show here. To learn more about the program click here. If you are interested in buying the Gregory Goose books, click here.First Day, New Job, Now What?

Neuroscience & the Heart

The heart has a nervous system, too! Judith discusses the latest, fascinating research with Jim – evidencing the heart’s definite role in the neuroscience of how & why we behave as we do. [Listen]