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Fight Your Biases to Stoke Innovation

Innovation isn’t just about the ideas people create

Innovation is essential to an organization—all it means, at its core, is being able to come up with new ideas, and your association hasn’t survived without doing that a few times. Why, then, is it such an intimidating concept for so many?

Jim Harrison, senior creative director at the University of Florida, pinpointed one reason why in a post earlier this month at John Spence’s blog. Organizations like to talk about implementing innovation processes, but innovation doesn’t thrive on structure; indeed, it needs something closer to the opposite. Innovation requires creativity, and “creativity as a process is messy,” Harrison wrote. “It’s a different, never-the-same-twice, unpredictable adventure.”

Now, as a leader, you probably have limited patience for an adventure. But take heart: The right environment for innovation, Harrison explains, isn’t a free-form, metrics-impaired, deadline-less sandbox so much as a collective mindset that encourages exploration. Getting to that place requires some work, though. Last month, I wrote about how we might make conversations about innovation less intimidating by framing them as conversations about the future. Harrison drills a little deeper: If we’re going to have creative teams in our organizations, we need to address the biases that stifle creativity.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Associations Now.

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