Freedom to Innovate – What does it feel like?

At InnovoFlow, we often talk about developing the “Freedom to Innovate” in our innovation leaders, but what does this really mean?  What does it feel like if you actually achieve it?

Well, maybe we can start by looking at situations where you do not have this freedom.

  • You have 300 emails a day
  • Your boss is shouting at you to improve a strategic business process but then piles on the pressure to deliver something else with fewer people and less time
  • “We always do it *this* way
  • “This has always worked in the past”
  • “We are setting up an innovation team and it will have *these* nominated people in it”
  • “You must use *this* technology”
  • Your performance plan does not mention the word innovation
  • Pressure pressure pressure
  • You get valuable face time with collaborators but everyone is reading their email at the same time (see 1st bullet!)
  • “Don’t talk to the customer you may raise their expectations”
  • Days, weeks years, pass with nothing changing

We have all been there!  I for one do not like the feelings implied by this list.  So what does freedom feel like?  Just observe one of our innovation workshops and watch the joy on participants faces when we hit them with their first challenge allowing them to actually thinnk about something new and watch them find out that they are having a lot of fun.  Everyone is so excited.  Watch the ideas flow!  Characteristics of leaders who are free include:

Find your own freedom to innovate

Find your own freedom to innovate

  • They smile a lot
  • They take thinking time by going for a walk in the woods
  • They have permission to break the rules
  • They involve the mavericks and trouble makers
  • They talk to their customers
  • They can look outside their own organisations
  • They keep in touch with friends in other organisations
  • They seek out the unusual
  • They enjoy coming to work
  • They look for the win-win
  • They take risks and are allowed to fail
  • They will inform their thinking with play
  • They say “Let’s do something different tomorrow”
  • They have won the resources they need
  • They are successful!

Where do you fit?  Do something different today


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