Are you the kind of leader who demands innovation from your team, but kill new ideas through your language?
Being an idea killer only stifles creativity and makes it really hard for people to have the kinds of conversations that move an organization forward.
How do we become leaders that welcome innovation and give it a comfy and roomy seat at the table?
In this episode, you’ll learn what stunts innovation, and how to change it with one sentence…. “I don’t see it, but change my mind”.
When we teach people that we’re not open to learning new things, we teach people to stop bringing new ideas to us.
- Jen Thornton
Three Things To Take Away From This Episode
Spark innovation through conversations
With one simple statement, create a conversation that inspires today and in the future.
I don’t see it, but change my mind
Instead of shooting down ideas and discouraging people, use this one simple statement to encourage thought and innovation.
Not a great idea? How do you say it without discouraging future ideas?
We don’t have to like every single idea people share with us, how do we say no in a constructive way?
0:00:04.2 S1: The landscape of business is changing radically, yeah, leadership is being taught the same hallway, it's always been tough. When the world is changing, it's time to bring our leadership styles along for the ride, thanks to cutting edge neuroscience, we now have access to new tools and new language that inspires action, collaboration and innovation in the modern workplace. I started this podcast to bring you the best of these cutting as tools, exercises as practices and modern leadership strategies every single week, whether you're a company leader, a corporate visionary or an entrepreneur, this show gives you new insights and sender science and language of leadership as well as practical steps and tips, you can take back to the office so you can lead your team in a powerful way, keeping your people happy and engaged while cheating your biggest goals, because no one has ever changed the world by doing things the way they've always been done. I'm your host, Jen, or I'm a talent strategist, an executive coach, speaker in the founder of Korea or coaching. Now, let's fix leadership.
0:01:08.3 S2: Hello and welcome to Let's fix leadership. Today we're gonna talk about innovation, how to create innovation within your team and to hopefully stop saying things like, Oh, is there never a new idea in this place, am I the only person that has an idea around here, why can no one find a solution if I'm not here to give them the solution, I am sure that none of you as leaders have ever said any of those things in your head, let's hope you never said any out loud, if you do... Let's stop doing that. That's a good way to fix leadership, let's stop looking at people and saying, Do you not have any good ideas today, let's change how we lead, and let's start to think about how our leadership actually creates innovation or creates an environment where innovation is kind of... You get in trouble for it, you're told not to do it, and you're told if you do it and the boss doesn't like it. You're in trouble. So how does that happen? Well, it actually happens pretty easy, the behaviors of the leader definitely create the innovation level of the team, how innovative the team are, and it happens where someone comes to you and you say someone comes to you and they have a new idea, or they've come across something really interesting, or they believe it's interesting, or they're seeing some trends out there, but maybe you have it...
0:02:33.2 S2: Maybe you're like, Wow, that's strange. That's weird. I don't really see that. That's not where I think we are. And so you say no. You just look at them and say, Yeah, I don't like that. That's a horrible idea. Or no. And without hearing someone else, you actually just say no, and what you're doing before you really take the chance to hear someone out with her new idea or their viewpoint or something, they've come across, you're really telling someone, I'm not open to your ideas, and I'm going to shut them down quickly. I'm gonna make sure that me as a leader, my ideas are keen, my ideas are the only ones we're going to use, and you're also teaching people that you really have nothing new to learn, and so when we teach people that unconsciously, obviously we don't think about... Or teaching people that, but our language teaches people how to work with us, when we teach people that were not open to learning new things and we're not open to new things or new ideas, then we teach people to stop bringing them to us. I see it happen a lot with new hires, so you're excited about this new person on your team, you're excited about all their experience because that's why you hired them, they've all this experience, or maybe they know how to do something that you don't...
0:03:55.6 S2: Or there's just something about them or you wouldn't have hired him, right, there's something about them that you want them to bring to your team, and in the beginning, because they've got those fresh glasses on, right, they've got all these fantastic ideas and they bring them to you and some of them you may have tried before, some of them you might have thought, Well, that's too expensive, or We don't have the budget for it, there's a thousand reasons why we say no... Right, and typically, we've got good intentions, but again, how we say no is so important, and so we tell that new person, Hey, I know that I was excited about your experience, I know I told you I was excited for you to come in and rock this place. And shake it up and do creative things, but just kidding, I'm actually not... I'm gonna not want your new ideas, I'm gonna not want you to talk about them, I go not want you to bring up all these things you see... So those are the things that happen all the time. They happen in our leadership. They happen day-to-day. But we have to fix that, we have to fix environments, stifle creativity, and we have to fix environments where we teach people not to research new ideas or come up with new ideas.
0:05:03.4 S2: So how do we do that? Right, that's what we're here to do. We're here to fix leadership, so if we're doing that unconsciously, and as you're listening to this, really think about your leadership, think about times you might have done this, but I have the most simplest fix in the world for you, you're gonna be able to use this fix. Weekly, if not daily. And here's what I want you to do. The next time someone brings you a new idea, some thoughts, some different ways of looking at things, and you're kind of wanting to say No very quickly, or you're wanting to be like, what... That is nuts. Here's what I want you to do instead. Here's what I want you to just try. Just try it on for size. See how it fits. I want you to say, I don't see it. But changed my mind. And here's why both of those things are so important, there was two things in that statement, I don't see it, but change my mind, and the reason it's important to say both of those things together is that you're being honest upfront, you're saying, Hey, I don't get it I don't see it, but I'm open to you changing my mind, I'm open to learning from you, I'm open to thinking about things a little differently, Hey, I'm open to you changing my mind about how I lead and how I see my department, my organization, my company, whatever it is, and that my friends is really where the gold is, it's where the conversation is, and when you say things like, change my mind, you are welcoming different points of view, you're welcoming conflict in a way that it's...
0:06:40.0 S2: Celebrate in a way that it doesn't feel icky, in a way that's like, Hey, we have different view points, but guess what, we can share how we see things, and in the end, we can start to find some common grounds. Now, when I coach executives, it's one of those things very early that we usually cover is how often someone on your team changes your mind, and I want you to ask yourself that question as you are to this podcast, walking around your park driving, whatever you happen to be doing right now. Ask yourself, how often has someone on my team changed my mind about something... When was the last time I thought I knew the direction I wanted to go in? And someone said, uh, that's not right. And I was like, Really? Tell me more or I thought it was a great idea. So changed my mind on why my idea isn't so great, you've got to think about the last time that happened, because if that wasn't that long ago or it was very long ago, wherever that is, it starts to tell you about your leadership. It starts to tell you how often you promote conflict, you promote differences, a viewpoint, you promote challenging authority, all those things we say we want...
0:07:58.3 S2: But through our leadership style, we tell people unconsciously thinks, we don't want that.
0:08:04.3 S1: Let's take a quick break from the conversation, do you have new leaders on your team and you could see their potential, you can see their runway, but you can not figure out how to get them across the finish line, reach out to three or four coaching and learn more about our brain-based competency-focused executive coaching. So when you think about saying to someone.
0:08:27.9 S2: I don't know, change my mind, what do you think the response would be from the person you say that to... The first time you say it, chance is hard. They're gonna be like... They're gonna be nervous, right? 'cause they don't know where you're coming from. They don't know how to change your mind, and if they kind of get quiet, that's okay, because what you're showing your team and what you're showing yourself as you're doing something that's different, you're changing things up in the way you lead, and so now people have to learn how to work with you in a new way, in a new way in which you can bring ideas to the table, and so if they're a little frozen or if they're kind of like, Oh, I don't know how to do that. That's okay. Start to ask some more questions. Say, What makes you believe this would work? When you think about our ideal customer, why would they like this... Tell me where you found this research 'cause I'd like to learn more, or why do you think this current trend is on its way out when we see all of our competitors doubling down in it, I just keep asking those questions because that is where the true innovation comes from...
0:09:40.4 S2: Innovation comes from conversations, and innovation comes from it being okay to see things differently. We never, ever, ever do something new, if we're doing it the way we've always done it, and if you're promoting innovation and you're promoting different ways of looking at things, you have... Have these conversations, their time consuming, and in today's world, time is a luxury, but if you're thinking about driving your organization, whether that's your department, your company, however you wanna define your organization, if you're really wanting to drive that to some place new, the luxuries or what matter you have to have the time for the conversation, you have to have the time to have conversations around innovation and changing your mind, because if you don't, someone out there is gonna get that great idea and they're gonna run with it, and down the road, you're gonna be going, What? I should have totally listened to that idea six months ago, but I didn't, or you may be in one of those places, or you've had this boss where someone else goes with it, and the leader, the big leader of the team says something like, Why did no one else come up with these great ideas.
0:10:57.1 S2: And there's someone at that table settle saying, Oh, I did, and you shot me down, you would even listen to me... It happens all of the time. We know it does. And so the question is, how often do you want someone to change your mind as a leader? I hope it's often. I hope you want people to come in and be ready to change your mind, I hope that that question of I don't see it change my mind becomes a catch phrase within your organization, because just imagine if you had two managers to managers that are in two different departments that are trying to find their way in the corporate world and trying to lead teams for the first time, and what if from the very beginning, they were really comfortable with people bringing new ideas to them, they were really comfortable with discussing new ideas, looking at things differently being uncomfortable with the way they've always seen things, can you imagine if you had an entire organization where people started that habit really early in their career, and think about your company 10 years from now, think about those teams 10 years from now, and how creative and innovative, they're likely be, because they grew up in an environment where they could have a difference of opinion, they grew up in an environment where changing someone's mind...
0:12:20.0 S2: I wasn't gonna get you in trouble, I was gonna get you celebrated, coming up with new ideas, whether they were used or not, was celebrated. And that's an important piece of this. Sometimes when I start having these conversations with executives in our coaching sessions, and we talk about the power of having your mind changed as an executive, they're like... But what if it really is a bad idea? Well, that's okay. It is okay, and if they don't change your mind, it's okay to say, I know, I appreciate your view point, I see your viewpoint, here's why we're not gonna go with it now, just from a little small story on my own team, my own team always wants to expand our social media footprint. And I never do. I am like, Nope, nope. And they're like, Yes, yes. And so we work through that. Every time they come to me about every, I don't know, three to six months and they're convinced they're gonna change my mind, that's fine. I always say to them, What about our business has changed that makes this important today, because maybe there's something I'm not seeing in today is the day that I'm gonna join a new social media work network, who knows? The other thing is I give them some caveats, so if you want to add that social media platform to what we already do, awesome, but we have to get these other three things perfect, they have to be well-oiled machines before we add one more thing to it, and once these are well-oiled machines come back to me and we'll talk about it because maybe it will be the right time, so you can still say No, but how you say no matters.
0:13:58.3 S2: And we talked a little bit about that in the very beginning, but how you say, no matter how you say no, tells people how to come to you in the future, and even if someone does not change your mind, it is okay, because you had a conversation that was open... You had a conversation that said to someone, I appreciate the way you think, I want you to keep bringing things to me, oftentimes, it may not be a Yes, it may not be a no, and maybe a blended approach, but you will never ever know what's next for your organization and what's next for yourself and what's next for your team and your customers, if you don't stop saying no and start saying, Hey, I don't see it, but change my mind. Alright, so that is your tip today, and the big world of leadership as we all are trying to consistently evolve the new leaders, figure out How To Lead In today's crazy world and guess what guys... Tomorrow, be just as crazy. And so in today's topic around innovation around how do you create more innovation, remember how you respond to people's ideas, how you respond to what their innovation is will make a difference, and if you don't see it, if you think their idea is not gonna work, you think it's crazy, you don't have time for it.
0:15:15.9 S2: You don't have the budget for it. Instead of just saying, No, say, I don't see it, I change my mind.
0:15:25.3 S1: Thanks for listening to Les IC leadership. By hanging out with me today, you're already on your point, if you're looking to learn more and to see if your company is a good fit for our coaching and leadership education, and Hey, visit 3044 coaching dotcom, if you got value on this podcast, share it with a friend. And it would mean the world. Tight. If you elevator, review and a rating on iTunes, thanks again for listening, and I appreciate your work in fixing leadership.