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Build Jumpstarting Innovation into Your Business

Too many businesses continue staying with their same old ways of doing business and getting the same old results. With this in mind, you may not realize that you actually lose market share of clients who can use your products and services. The big difference is that you need to shift gears slightly into the realm of being more creative.

Business stagnation left unchecked leads to lower employee productivity, decreased consumer interest and smaller profit margins. Maybe it’s time you start to innovate your business for optimal effectiveness.

Listen to All Ideas

Allow your employees to give feedback and ideas. Remember, your employees are the people who create and produce the ideas they work with. Take time to really listen to all ideas. Let your employees “brainstorm” ideas and how to get things done themselves after you give them the task to complete.

Start Asking Better Questions

If you are fresh out of ideas start asking your employees and customer’s questions. Ask questions that are thought-provoking in order to get new ideas to solve the problems, challenges and difficulties you have in front of you. Ask and think about “What if…?” These types of questions need you to go beyond the basics to the possibilities.

Break Out of Your Fixed Mindset

You company needs to shift from working on a traditional basis to an unconventional basis. This means you and your employees need to be growth oriented and be open to different thoughts and ideas and learn from mistakes and failures. Allow these things to take place as you experiment with trial and error in combining ideas that solve what’s in front of you. Go beyond the basics. Start viewing things from a different perspective than what you have been used to seeing.

Pull People Out of their Comfort Zone to Generate Better Ideas

Stop holding yourself back from not getting out of your comfort zone. By stagnating, you achieve the same work that feels comfortable for you. You end up with the same results. Stepping out of your comfort zone even on a gradual basis allows you to see your progress in your personal life and in your work. By expanding yourself your thoughts, ideas and opinions may surprise you and your co-workers. Your results will be better than you expect. The more you feel comfortable in taking a gradual step outside of your comfort you will not miss the opportunities that have been passing you by.

Transform your creative thoughts, ideas and opinions into breakthrough results that will boost your business to the next level of your success. Is your business ready to move into the 21st Century for explosive growth?

To make things happen contact nburgis@successful-solutions.com

 

 

Leading an Empowered Creative Organization

Great Managers Empower Their Organizations to Innovate

As the leader of your organization, how much do you really know about each of your employees? Ask yourself how creative and innovative your employees are outside of the workplace. Then ask them. The reason to find this out is because you want your employees to solve more problems, challenges and difficulties.

In order to empower your employees to use creative approaches moves your organization into thrive mode. You don’t have to necessarily be a creative and/or innovative workplace. These … will put your leadership into a position of allowing your employees to generate greater ideas to work more effectively in accomplishing their common goals.

“It’s not the tools you have faith in – tools are just tools – they work or they don’t work. It’s the people you have faith in or not.” -Steve Jobs, Apple

Staying Ahead in Business

“The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead.” 

-Bill George

Productive change depends on employees who are work creatively to develop new ideas. Leaders need to learn from a number of things that go wrong when you attempt to boost creativity the wrong way. First, just coming up with a laundry list of ideas won’t solve the real problems facing an organization. That’s not how innovation works. The Idea Project was the easy part. Following through toward a successful conclusion? Not so much.

By embracing uncertainty and finding creative solutions your organization will be well equipped to thrive in today’s business climate. This is where you need to shift gears to allow your employees to use their best skills and talent to move your organization forward. This is what keeps you ahead in the marketplace.

Empower Employees to Be More Productive

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

-General George Smith Patton, Jr.

Empowered employees are good for business. By micromanaging people stifles their creative process and makes them less likely to give their best. Letting employees make decisions on how to solve what is in front of them shows a trust you have of them.

As leader, “you need to empower your team to generate and execute bold ideas” (Tim Brown CEO of IDEO).

Empower Your Employees to Innovate

Most people are stuck in “either-or” thinking. Their mindsets are win or lose. Shifting their mindset helps when each person thinks and reacts to new possibilities. Operating from a win-win perspective has your attitude shift toward positive possibilities that your idea will work.

“The great leaders are like the best conductors – they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.”

-Blaine Lee

Encourage In-The-Moment Feedback

Create an open communication where feedback does not have to mean giving negative judgment or criticism to other. Sometimes feedback can help you improve what you are working on or it is great praise for accomplishing the task you were given.

Working Collaboratively Instead of Competitively

By improving your own organizational effectiveness by for empowering your employees, they work on a collaboratively basis instead of a competitive one against each other. Employees get to know what strengths and weaknesses to pull from in each employee for the best they do.

“Empowerment is constantly challenging oneself with something difficult that tests his power of nerve, knack, skill, aptitude, attitude and wisdom to do things diligently, delightfully but differently.” – Anuj Somany

In conclusion

Leaders should empower employees for the success of your business. In doing so, you allow your employees to use their creative thinking skills and talent. This brings out the best in your employees and the best in the work they do.

“An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success.”

-Stephen Covey

Embrace Your Creativity

“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.”

 -Katherine Hepburn

Creativity is prized in children until around the fourth grade. Then society says, you now have to conform with what it told to you. As years pass by and you become an adult, creativity is now prized by many organizations. The better you can solve problems, challenges and difficulties the more you are valued.

Creativity is simply a solution with a unique twist.

If you believe you are creative, how do you show it? Letting other people see what you create and innovate is better than not showing your ideas, thoughts or opinions to others. Don’t let fear stop you from being creative.

Too many people have great ideas that you’ll never see. These people are afraid of being judged or criticized for their thoughts, ideas and opinions. Those who criticize are not ready for different things or changes. Remember, change is different to accept. Many who criticize are actually giving ideas to improve for greater results.

“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” —Bill Clinton

By opening up your mind and seeing things differently than before you are better able to accept and question things through your thoughts, ideas and opinions.

Your courage and confidence allows you to embrace ideas you generate. Producing your ideas allows you to embrace creativity as a genius for your own unique perspective. Improving an existing idea or you know how to break through the blocks that hold you back for creating an new product that take hold of what everyone buys. Your unique creative ideas are yours.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” —Buckminster Fuller

Creativity is not just for children. It’s for everyone. Embracing creativity shows you are able to see things from different perspectives. Question your beliefs, assumptions and see how you can take the ordinary and turn it into an extraordinary innovation. Exercise your creativity muscles to show the best of who you are.

Go embrace the unknown. You never know what your ideas will result in. Sometimes what you expect or want turns out to be different and more distinctive than you thought.

“When in doubt, choose change.” —Lily Leung

Being an Inspired Leader

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams

Leadership may not have a one-size-fits-all definition. Your leadership defines your own ways of leading.  Great leaders know the ingredients before they can create the best recipe for success.   Employees are most inspired when a leader takes the time to know them.

Are you a leader who inspires your employees to greatness?  Inspiring greatness in others takes not just leadership, but knowing how to meet the needs of your employees. Having the confidence to meet the challenge goes beyond what most leaders want and expect from their employees. Inspired leaders when allowing your employees to solve problems, challenges and difficulties go beyond what most leaders want from their employees. Most leaders want and expect employees to conduct the assignment given to them with specific ways how to conduct the project.

“When you take risks and they work out, they lead to new capabilities you never saw before.” – Tom Soderstrom

Within your leadership you want employees to follow your lead. There is power in helping people get excited about what they do, and inspiring and motivating them to unleash their full potential.

Igniting Enthusiasm

Your enthusiasm can be contiguous to your employees when you allow them to generate ideas, create and produce those ideas for breakthrough results. In igniting your enthusiasm you cannot inspire unless you’re inspired yourself. This is the driver to employee engagement.

Navigating the Course of Action

Nothing extraordinary ever happens without a leader articulating a vision, a course of action. Beware of the uncertainty you lead your employees in. Set your goal to be achievable.

Inspired Employees Contribute

We all know that happy employees are more likely to stay with the company. Inspiration leads to more engaged employees. Encourage your employees to paint a picture of where they want to go and the result of their picture.  People are expected to generate ideas. Being able to stay motivated and creative gives you the focus of the work you have an interest in.

Opportunity is Always Within Reach

Most great leaders have someone who inspires or inspired them. Leading by example to empower others to be leaders of their own visions moves your employees to create and produce breakthrough results. More and more companies seek out and focus on developing their ability to drive inspiration and motivation. With this in mind, your business will thrive when you have the right employees in place.

There are a lot of factors that can be combined for inspired leaders to inspire your employees. These are just a few that you need to take into consideration when you do inspire your employees.

 “The more you inspire, the more people will inspire you.” – Simon Sinek

Seeing Things Differently

“Everyone has two eyes but no one has the same view.”

Seeing what everyone else see’s is one thing. Seeing things differently than others is something else. Sometimes the more creative you are, the more you view things differently. Seeing things different from others can produce innovative breakthrough results.

When you look at something, do you see the same thing every time you see it? Do you see the same thing everyone else sees? Do you look at every angle and see something different, or do you just agree that you see the same thing others see as to not deviant your thoughts?

“Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.”

-Napoleon Hill

Some people are afraid to say they see the same thing others see differently. This fear of being judged or criticized from others has you hold back your real thoughts and feelings. As a creative, you don’t need to hold back or be afraid of what others say. It comes with the territory.

Understand that we all may view things differently. Seeing things differently is a big lesson to be learned that can be carried with you the rest of your life. Making it a part of your life helps you solve problems, challenges and difficulties you encounter.

“We can’t change anything until we get some fresh ideas, until we begin to see things differently.” – James Hillman

Defining Moments

“There are moments which mark your life. Moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts, before this and after this.” – Unknown

Accepting the challenge of seeing things differently can be difficult. Define who you are by generating your own ideas and follow through with them. Present fresh and unique perspective to solving the problems, challenges and difficulties to others on your work team. Don’t be afraid to express your thoughts, ideas and opinions. This can show more of who you are to co-workers.

Asking “What If” Questions

Ask questions beyond your assumptions and beliefs What if you could break from the status quo? What if you could make the changes you know you need to make to improve things?

Encourage yourself to ask “what if” questions to see the possibilities of your ideas. The questions you ask has you asking more questions to express more of your thoughts and opinions in order to generate greater ideas.

An important question to ask yourself is “What would I do differently…?”

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made Extraordinary,

simply by doing them with the right people.” – Nicholas Sparks

Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary essentially is that of people may appear ordinary yet create and produce extraordinary things. These individuals see themselves as ordinary.

Try this exercise. Look around for ordinary things. Whether it is a building, a toy, or an appliance for example, look at the item differently than you never did before. Experiment with ordinary things to spark inspired ideas. Even intricate little things can spark a lot more than you think. Go beyond your expectation and use your imagination.

 

Creative people manage to see the world from another perspective, and the things they do, the decision they make are just different than what the rest of the people would usually do. The different perspectives of the things around you can generate great ideas for you to create and produce as a breakthrough result. Try new things and let 2017 be the year to start seeing things differently.

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

Wayne Dyer

Happy New Year 2017

A Change to Be Creative in Your Business

If this past year has been challenging for you…You are not alone.  The New Year is built as an invitation to look at everything with a fresh set of eyes, and a chance to rethink creative opportunities. Re-evaluate where you’ve been and where you can and want to go.

Welcome back to work now that the New Year has begun. It’s a fresh new year and the season of beginnings. Being eager with new thoughts, ideas and opinions you can use starting the first day back to work. More and more businesses are turning to creativity in order to thrive beyond previous expectations, you need to show these creative problem solving skills to what you can do for your clients and customers.

New Year’s Resolutions: This year determine that you will make changes because you need to unless your business goes straight into survival mode- not thrive mode. Shifting to be creative is your best bet on keeping your current clients and gaining more as the year progresses.

Creativity in business is more important than ever before. Let’s reflect for a little bit of the reasons you may not have been creative or as creative as you could have been during the last year. Pause and ask yourself why you stopped being creative?

“And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.” -Rainer Maria Rilke

What was your creative edge in 2016 and what will be your creative edge in 2017 be? Break your long-term goals down into smaller pieces and turn them into short-term goals.

How did this creative edge grow you in 2016 and how will your creative edge grow you in 2017?

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” – Tom Peters

Viewing the New Year

Your New Year’s resolution for creativity is not so different from any other resolutions you make. Creativity goes beyond music, art, or literature. Being creative primarily is generating fresh innovative ideas you think of doing in unique ways to solve problems, challenges and difficulties.

With the start of another new year, think about becoming more creative in order to explore different ways you can be creative and generate higher revenue. You may just be surprised.

Learn Something New

Continue broadening your mind with learning everything you can from different perspectives. Learning something new does not mean that you have to return to school. Explore your hidden skills and talent to make you creative or to make you a better creative person. The things around you can help you see things from a different perspective you never saw before.

Customers are a great source of inspiration and innovation. After all, whose needs are you trying to meet anyway?! Talk to your target market, your top customers, and really connect with them. Find out what they’re looking for and what they love about you.

Say Goodbye to Ho-Hum Say Goodbye to Ho-Hum New Year with Creativity

“Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.” -Charles Kettering

What will be your New Year can astound you now and as you generate ideas and create your ideas into the results you are hoping for. Instead of doing the same old-same old and getting the same results, start adding a little of your creative thinking for greater inspiration in the work you do. Keep motivating yourself and your employees for greater breakthrough results.

It’s only natural to want to scrap the old and start over once you get a whiff of that “New Year smell”. It gives you the opportunity to rethink and evaluate how creative your ideas can be. You may sometimes find that routine can be a source of generating ideas for you to use in solving problems, challenges and difficulties. Look with open eyes and an open mind for opportunities for greater results.

Make the Impossible, Possible

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” -Helen Keller

Challenge yourself and your employees to solve things that others believe are impossible to achieve. By breaking down each piece of the puzzle, you will find it easier to solve and then put it back together using your own unique combinations to complete and make impossible, possible.

Carry a Notebook

Don’t stop thinking of ideas, thoughts, opinions and questions. Write down your thoughts, ideas and opinions with regard to the things you see and how you can improve them. Write down any questions you have that provoking thinking beyond beliefs and assumptions. Do yourself a big favor to write things down whether you need to refer to them now or sometime into the future. They are very handy to hold onto.

Don’t Wait Until to Create the Change You Want Today

As you enter the New Year, are you ready to hit the ground running! What’s your goal and why? How do you plan to tackle the challenge? Cultivate at the start of a fresh new year. Spark new creative ideas for an extraordinary result. Be creative and find as many different ways as possible of achieving the same goal. Break down your goal in smaller pieces.

“The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” -Melody Beattie

Employees to Bring Ideas to the Table

“Creativity is a Function of Leadership” -Linda Naiman

For years your leadership has been telling your employees what to do and how to do things. After all these years, you realize you are losing business to your competitors and you need to thrive beyond survival mode. Many of your employees work on their own projects outside of work. After talking with a few employees, you find that many of them have great ideas for moving the company forward with their great ideas. You decide to give it a try.

Your employees already generate and create ideas for their own results outside of the workplace. Maybe it’s time you have them do the same thing in the workplace? For some leaders, this is the terrifying unknown – or like being afraid of the dark. For others, you know what you need to do to thrive and as the Nike ads say- “Just Do It.”

“I encourage people to bring ideas to the table. I’m very much a listener

and keep an open ear.” -Bruce R. Keiser

Since your employees are the ones who do the work, and they can be productive during the time they wait for any approval from management. Now is the time to allow your employees the opportunity to generate ideas to solve the problems, challenges and difficulties you assign to them. How can your employees meet your challenge?

“Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity, and meaning in their job.” – Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard

Enabling Employees to Solve Problems

One way to activate creativity within your employees is to develop your workplace into an environment that invites and accepts change, challenges and solutions from your employees. Being inclined to generate ideas, create those ideas and produce great results needs to be encouraged. On top of this, your employees need to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, ideas and opinions without judgment or criticism. Their confidence is what is needed to bring new ideas to the table. 

Leaders Accepting Feedback from Employees

“Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about” – Ashleigh Brilliant (English Author and Cartoonist, b.1933)

Giving employees feedback and recognition helps them feel valued. This in-turn helps them contribute more into the creative process of their work. Ask them questions and allow them to give feedback, ask questions and express their concerns without retribution.

Employees can offer greater ideas when they are able to feel comfortable in speaking up and giving their thoughts and opinions. An employee who is hesitant to speak up is not going to feel valued especially with the contributions they provide.

Keep Ideas Flowing in Your Workplaces

“New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!”

 Arthur C. Clarke quotes (English Writer of science fiction, b.1917)

Allowing your employees a percentage of time each week to work on personal projects can boost your company’s performance, revenue and profits. Ask for ideas from everyone within your company. Create an inspiration room specifically designed to encourage your people to brainstorm and use a whiteboard for ideas. You can put up a “What if…” board for questions. Set up an “idea Challenge of the Month” to encourage your employees to generate ideas on a specific problem or area.

Bringing out the best in your employees

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant

Generating great ideas of creativity leads to innovation. Innovation is essential for the growth of any company. Instead of stifling creativity and innovation, business leaders need to understand the triggers of progress to grow your company. Diversity empowers your people as to capitalize on their strengths.

Cultivating and developing training to improve the skills and talent of your employees for greater creative breakthrough results need to continue. Having some of your more creative employees working with less experienced employees can have a significant impact throughout your organization. This is where your employees take a lot of pride in them and in their employment. Innovation is the key to keeping your business competitive, as bright ideas are often hard to come by.

“The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time.”

 Henry Ford quotes (American industrialist and pioneer of the assembly-line production method, 1863-1947)

As a leader, you want to shift gears from an ordinary organization to one that is extraordinary in being creative and innovative. This is so you can get a jump on your competition and thrive beyond survival mode. You already know that your employees work on great ideas outside of the workplace. Now, you have them to bring their great ideas in-house. Thrive beyond your expectation.

Creativity in a Box of Crayons

Crayon your way to creativity. What do I draw, what ideas can I generate?

Think back to your childhood school days. You most likely used all the colors in the box, colored outside the lines and sometimes even added to the picture. The little extra stuff is part of your creativity. If you colored in the lines and did not add anything onto the paper, your teacher loved what you drew. On the other hand, if you drew outside the lines and since you added extra things or colored how you wanted, your teacher probably wasn’t a happy camper with you.

As an adult, it’s time to forget what you were taught in school and are ready to do things your way; it’s time to try things on your own. With a blank piece of paper in front of you and cracking open a brand new box of 64 crayons you can now stretch your creative ideas and draw what you want to without your former school classmates bothering you. No one tells you what to draw or to ask “What is that?”  Show your creativity. You make the decision of what you want in your picture.

Quick: Think of five things you could do with a new box of crayons. Take notice of how you feel when thinking of these 5 things.

Opening a pack of crayons and making an idea your own helps you see things others don’t when it comes to creativity and innovation. Look around you and take pieces of information and generate ideas from what you see. It may not be possible to draw them, instead use a creative notebook and write down in detail your thoughts, ideas and opinions.

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor and your picture begins to lighten up.”

ALLEN KLEIN, attributed, Soul Rays: Discover the Vibratory Frequency of Your Soul

Too many adults think that you need to instantly become an adult with all the responsibilities when you reach 18 years of age. These same individuals don’t revert to childhood for any reason.  If you did not get praise or recognition as a child with regard to your creative works, you typically will think you are not good at being creative or that no one likes your work. At least be creative for yourself.

This week crack open a fresh box of crayons.  Stretch your creativity by getting back in touch with your inner child. Draw, sculpt, paint, or write. Challenge yourself to find something creative to do with all that colored wax. Being creative, you invent, imagine, problem-solve, create, and communicate in fresh, new ways. This is where every business requires creative thinkers to work for them.

Experimenting with crayons could lead to some new ideas for your current projects. As you might imagine, different colors activate the brain in different ways. Studies have shown that specifically green and blue have strong effects on enhancing creativity and nourishing innovative thinking. What colors work for you in the projects you create?

Now grab your crayons and go to it! Underneath it all, explore the colors. Use each colored crayon and draw something, doodle or just make lines.

“Learn to use ten minutes intelligently. It will pay you huge dividends.”

-William Irwin

Leaders, Start Viewing Setbacks as Opportunities

For some time now, your company has been thriving very well. All of a sudden something stopped working and your productivity was brought to a standstill. When your business suffers a setback, how do you handle it?  Everyone responds to setbacks differently. Good leaders are resilient. They bounce back from set-backs.

How can you thrive after a setback takes place in your business?  First, don’t panic. Focus Your Vision.

Focusing where your energy goes determines where the company goes. For example, if you focus on the setback itself and the challenge it brought you, your business will not move forward. On the other hand, if you focus on your vision for where you want to take your business from here, use this transition period wisely.

Looking at ways to strengthen your resilience, you need to first and foremost, stay calm. If you don’t stay calm, you will take reactive actions that can worsen the situation. Otherwise, by staying calm you get to think about what had taken place and take rational steps to work through what the setback situation is on a proactive basis.

A setback is typically an event that hinders your forward progress. This can take the form of employees quitting without notice, losing a large account,  or an executive who died suddenly.

Resilience for most people just isn’t there for them. They see a negative situation and wallow in it. For others, you see a negative situation and look for how you can turn it into an advantage. According to Stacey Copas, keynote speaker and facilitator of Resilience for Results, “the key to building resilience is to actively create strategies on how to handle difficult situations – a trait which is absolutely critical for any leader”. A big part of resilience is confidence.

The key ingredients of handling setbacks include the following.

Be Optimistic

Look at your situation as optimistic as possible. Think more along the lines of the “glass-half-full” attitude as you put your focus on spotting opportunities for positive change. By asking thought-provoking questions leading to how this setback can be an opportunity in disguise may be just what your company needs to move forward.

Adopting a Growth Mindset

Being open has you looking at various opportunities for a back-up plan. Seeing a setback in your business can bring you down. By letting the setback get you upset and having you worry about it has you not thinking clearly for the best solution. Instead of going into a downward spiral, turn your energy into asking yourself “How can I add value?”, “How can I contribute to turning things around?” and start to focus on what your next steps need to be, not want the situation is.

Start looking at setbacks as opportunities for new beginnings. Instead of reacting, take a short time to re-think what you have in front of you. Then start to brainstorm what good can actually be the outcome of what you have.

Every day offers you the opportunity to ask yourself, “Will I let this make me better? Or will I allow this to make me bitter?” The choice is ultimately up to you. When in doubt, pause. Don’t let the fight-or-flight stress response take over.

Never Give Up

There’s a great saying that how you do one thing is how you do everything. Setbacks may mean you have to start over on a project, or even that you have to admit defeat on a business idea, but never give up your enthusiasm. When you stay positive and stay in the game, you open yourself up to possibilities. When a setback occurs, immerse yourself in new ideas.

Learn from Setbacks

No matter what the setback, the most important thing you can do is to put things in perspective. It is easier said than done. Look at every failure as an opportunity. Setbacks only slow you down

Setbacks are merely hurdles standing in your way. They are inevitable and unavoidable at times. As soon as you recognize this, you will begin to navigate through setbacks accordingly. As long as you keep your eyes on the desired outcome, you will get there eventually.

 

Great Leaders Ask Great Questions

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” —Voltaire

When it comes to creativity, asking the right questions provokes your thinking for great results.

Many leaders, managers and supervisors do not know how to probe for information from their employees, colleagues as well as their own boss. Instead, you may make assumptions based on their actions. How many of these assumptions are wrong, yet you do not question them with the right questions? Asking the right questions to spur innovation to solve the problems, challenges and difficulties you have in front of you does not trigger defensiveness. It typically is seen as being constructive and a thirst for knowledge and understanding.

Most people do not know how to frame a question for understanding. Many leaders are not aware of the power asking the right questions result in. Some people think that when you are questioned, it is not asking for feedback to help understand situations. Actually, asking the right questions need to be listened to carefully and then thought of before answering.

“You can’t solve a problem until you’re asking the right questions.” – Unknown

Before asking a question where you want a great solution to a problem, challenge or difficulty is when the question is thought-provoking. Your questions need to make people actually use their creative thinking skills. By having others think about the question, they need to take the time to generate ideas that move the solution toward a positive response.

Unleash the Connected Potential of Your People

When working with a team of collaborative people, asking questions to challenge beliefs and assumptions of a project is definitely what you want to do. Follow-up questions gives you an understanding of the ideas you want to convey in the project as well as how things will be put together for a better result than ordinarily expected.

Leading By Example

“I’m always looking, and I’m always asking questions.” – Anne Rice

Your employees need to ask questions just as your leader asks questions. As leader, you are the one who your employees need to follow. Asking insightful questions is what every employee needs to do in order to achieve great results. In being open to new ideas, each team member/employee needs to share their thoughts and opinions regarding the project.

The Way You Ask Questions

“Management teams aren’t good at asking questions. In business school, we train them to be good at giving answers.” -Clayton Christensen

The way you ask questions is critically important. In asking open-ended questions, you start with “Why”, “How”, “What”. Questions that start with any of these gives you a fresh challenge to assumptions and beliefs.

On the other hand, closed-ended questions call for specific responses such as “Yes” or “No”. These types of questions start with: “How many…”, “Do you agree…”, “When”. Closed ended questions focus on facts.  Leaders who like to maintain control focus on these questions.

Having Courage

Having the courage to ask questions that challenge others helps to bring out the perspectives other people have of the same situation. This can be thought-provoking as you get to see how those who are fearful of asking questions put themselves out in expressing their thoughts. The courage to ask uncomfortable questions that are different from what others ask can be what is needed to achieve creative results.

Developing Yourself Mindset

The idea of asking questions demonstrates the thoughts, opinions and mindset others have. How curious your team is with regard to expressing their thoughts, ideas and opinions tells a lot how others see the same situation. Building a team with a curious mindset helps the organization through

Teams with a high level of curiosity are more creative and perform better than those who are not curious or not expressing themselves. Being an important contributor to the problems, challenges and difficulties on your plate help generate more effective work results.

Move Beyond the Basics

Too many companies discourage questions from their employees. Get past the groupthink of how everyone else asks and answers questions. Think different in the questions you need to ask. Identify 3-5 ways you ask questions in your work culture that contributes to your competitive edge.

We’ve all experienced times when we’ve failed at being good questioners, perhaps without realizing it. Asking questions that get great results moves your creative innovations forward while at the same time, they improve your employee’s performance. Ask empowering questions to foster curiosity and creativity.