I ran an innovation workshop yesterday with a group of HR leaders.

I started the session by asking them:

How do you feel about innovation?

The emphasis on feel is important.

If you ask any manager and leader what they think of innovation they typically say that it is important, one of our top priorities etc.

Yet when you ask the same group what they feel about innovation you often receive a different set of responses.

For example, the group yesterday used words like:

– Exhausting

– Overwhelmed

– Intimidated

– Extra work

– Frustrating

– Risky and

– Unrewarding

What is going on?

Notice the big disconnect with what people think about innovation (it’s vital) and what they feel (it’s just hard unrewarding work).

The problem is this in my experience how people really feel about something determines what they actually do.

For example, if you feel the gym is an intimidating place then the chances of you going for a work-out is next to zero.

It feels the same with innovation.

I wonder why leaders don’t feel more inspired by innovation?

Innovation should be the most fun that you have at work.

It is an opportunity to feel energised, excited and fulfilled.

Where have we gone wrong?

Perhaps if we started to ask a different question of leaders — how do they feel rather than what they think we might have a more realistic starting position.

Perhaps also the advice of a proven innovation consultant might also help.

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