Monday, October 8, 2018

Leadership and Workplace Monday: Making Space for Innovation; seeing failure as constructive toward growth

wall chart to measure growth
key words:  leadership and workplace, change-makers, nonprofit leadership innovation
key concepts:  leading innovation, tools and ideas to help lead change in your organization, how to embrace failure on the path to change as opportunities to learn from your mistakes instead of fearing mistakes, moving forward and embracing change is uncomfortable--how do you help your team be more comfortable with transparency with mistakes and learning from failure as a way to improve the workplace

When you are changing the traditional medical system toward embracing more "care", "patient-centered-ness", and "health" paradigm, you will need to make time and room for innovation, change, and embracing failure.

This interview from Driving Participation podcast with Jesse Lane of Pure Charity shares practical tools to make space and time for the growth mindset and space for innovation every organization needs to grow and thrive.

Source:  The Driving Participation podcast with Beth Brodovsky.
Interviewed Jesse Lane of Pure Charity on 9.26.2018
"Creating a Culture Where Ideas Come to Life" or on iTunes.

“Trying new things can be scary—but often, the payoff is worth it. Jesse Lane of Pure Charity joins this session to explore ways nonprofits can be more innovative and how to create an environment that fosters creativity. He shares how at an organization he was a part of, they would set aside four hours every week just to brainstorm new ideas or work on implementing ones already in the pipeline. It created an environment for innovative ideas to be brought to the table in a new way and people were excited to share their suggestions. He and Beth explore why failure isn't always bad, how to get your donors involved in organizational changes, and much more.”

Megan's notes from listening

Core Values, a check-in minute 0-16
Hospitals, healthcare systems, nonprofit organizations have a published mission, vision, and core values.  After you publish your core values, are you checking in to see how your operations and products reinforcing those values?

When you know a core value isn't a core value:
If the core value does not show up in the work you are doing, it is not a core value.
As an organization, if you are not actively doing things that support, reinforce, and nurture that core value, it will not show up in your organization's products/outcomes or culture. [paraphrase]

Innovation vs. fear of failure and fear of risk-taking
growth and innovation mindset vs. scarcity mindset

When moving toward innovation, make failure a positive learning experience and keep moving forward.

Moving Forward:  Creating a Culture of Innovation

What are the needed basics?  minute 16

  • dedicated time
  • dedicated space
  • dedicated supplies

What are practical ways to initiate a culture of innovation, a growth mindset? minutes 18-19
These are the ideas Jesse mentioned:

  • quarterly shark tank experience
  • weekly meetings 
  • invest in a "sandbox lab"

What does this look like? (example) minute 21-23 and 24-26

  • 10% time innovation
  • 4 hours on Fridays.  4 hours/40-hour work week = 10% time investment
  • 4 hrs Friday afternoon "innovation lab"

What changes must leaders make to encourage this kind of innovation?  minute 26-28

  • model it themselves
  • dedicated time
  • dedicated space
  • system for accountability
    • i.e. dedicated task force (people) "innovation champions"
  • budget for it

How do organizations best address failure as a positive?  minute 28
  • celebrate the risk that was taken, even when it was not successful
  • What did we learn from this (failure)? minute 31 Where do we go from here?
  • See failure as a first step toward a success story
  • check in with your end user on your work and get feed back.
    • Must be doing regular check in with your end user on your work and getting feedback because this helps you avoid getting too far from your work/mission/end user
    • example:  "We designed this for you; what is your feedback?"
What are some first steps toward adding innovation to your organization's culture? minute 38
  1. set realistic goals, definition, and structure
    • example:  budget, time, space.  4 hours/week I go to the coffee shop with Person B to keep you accountable to your new idea
  2. start small 
  3. set goals 
  4. create an accountability system
  5. check in regularly with your end user
Quote from the TED Talk:
"...enthusiastic skepticism is not the enemy of boundless optimism.  It is optimism's perfect partner.  It unlocks the potential in every idea." --Astro Teller, "Moonshot Factory", X Project, Google.

Related Blogposts on Leadership and Work-place
resources related to changing workplace culture and moving the Integrative Health paradigm forward


  1. Wow Megan! What a terrific highlight piece on my podcast with Jesse Lane! He was terrific. I hope your community finds value in the session. Enjoy!
    - Beth Brodovsky, Host of the Driving Participation Podcast


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