This week I’m sharing a personal experience I had last week in Singapore - where before my eyes a corporate group went from fear and pessimism to a culture of innovation and optimism. It’s an amazing story.
In place of the Driving Eureka! Book expert - I’m sharing an incredible radio interview by the legendary Dan O’Day. It’s the best hour you’ll spend this week.
Lastly, the craft whiskey cocktail gives a “kick of excitement: to the classic Mint Julep!
Innovation Culture Change in 4 days!
This past week I observed something I never thought was possible. A team from a multi-national corporation transformed from fear and pessimism to innovation and optimism in 4 days!
Like Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile - this proves that your current culture is not your destiny. Don’t believe it when people declare that frustration and bureaucracy are their destiny.
Our destiny is what we make of it. It’s not static.
The scene was a Eureka! Accelerator session in Asia.
IT LOOKED UGLY: At the start, the quantitative assessment of their state of mind was very discouraging - fear, pessimism, stress. There was a feeling that it was their “destiny” to be miserable and frustrated.
Sadly, this is not an unusual situation in today’s world. Over the past 40 years we’ve seen steady declines in optimism, courage and engagement in large companies.
THE INTERVENTION: The project leader, Eureka! Ranch CEO, Maggie Nichols calmly laid out the data and lead a constructive conversation where the team was able to express their frustrations and challenges.
Then, before they could develop into a “pity party” she accelerated the session - flooding them with mind opening stimulus - technologies, trends, science, customers and new ways of thinking.
The folks attending got swept up in her momentum and a new energy started to develop across the room.
Just before each participant was to select an idea to develop and put into testing with their customers overnight she asked me to speak to them “from the heart.” To speak about why this was the moment when they had to believe. The moment where they needed to believe in their ideas, their team and their company.
Sadly - some 98% of the time - this is when executives take the path of least resistance and play it safe. They go for the easy, close in ideas instead of being bold and brave.
THE RESULT: This time was different - they engaged. All 20+ participants went big and bold. They wrote ideas worth doing. I was shocked and delighted. The results from customer testing was outstanding. And this was just the start this new spirit of courage, optimism, and meaningfulness stayed with group for 3 more days. Each day the ideas become richer, bolder, braver and more amazing.
The result from the session is an embarrassment of incredible ideas that can make a difference for their customers across dozens of countries as well as for their company. The end of the Eureka! Inventing session was a love in of hope, joy and possibilities.
WHAT CHANGED THE DESTINY OF THE GROUP: My hypothesis is that three things sparked the transformation fear to courage.
- LEADERSHIP: The leader of the group was not only in the room physically he was fully engaged emotionally. When the data was first revealed he didn’t dodge it, he didn’t make excuses, he lead by example - engaging in the creation of meaningful ideas, true ideas.
- PATIENCE: Maggie did an amazing job managing the group’s emotional state with empathy and understanding. She gave everyone space to make the change of mindset. When the moments felt right to her… she used me as a catalyst to tip emotions. Her patience was far greater than I would have, could have exhibited if I was leading the group. It’s something I’m going to have to work on :).
- DEEP DIVERSITY: The participants varied in job responsibilities, demographics and most importantly cultural background. I don’t know how many countries were represented but no culture even came close to 25% of the group. This deep diversity gave no group of participants a “safe haven.” Instead, the group created a “sense of belonging” to the concept of creating ideas worth reading and writing true sentences that define true ideas.
What I learned this week is that fear is not your destiny. Your future is not determined. You and your team can change your way of living and working - by focusing on doing things worth writing about.
The Greatest Radio Interview
on Innovation Ever
I recently had the honor of being interviewed by the master of radio Dan O’Day. He’s famous in the world of radio for teaching thousands of radio hosts.
He transformed my new book Driving Eureka! (out next Tuesday November 13) into the most insightful one hour interview I’ve ever done. In a conversational and comfortable style - he got to the heart of issues - asked smart follow ups - and made me think deeply.
TO PREORDER Driving Eureka! Book CLICK HERE
The “guts” of the interview is the “Five False Innovation Cures” that I write about in the book. When Dan first suggested this as the focus I didn’t think much of it. Now that I’ve listened to it I realize how insightful Dan was in selecting this as the framing for the interview.
This week in the place of a book excerpt, here’s a link where you can STREAM or DOWNLOAD the Interview on the book by the legendary Dan O’Day.
A Touch of Spice to Kick Alive Your Taste Buds!
Craft Cocktail Recipe:
Jalapeño Julep Cocktail
This week’s cocktail is inspired by Edward Lee, Chef/Owner of Magnolia 610 of Louisville and other restaurants. It transforms the Mint Julep into a more complex, more exciting taste sensation that is the perfect drink for setting up your taste buds for a great meal.
Ingredients for Jalapeño Syrup:
1.) In a small sauce pan combine the water, sugar, and jalapeño. 2.) Bring the mixture to a boil. 3.) Once, it boils turn off the heat and allow it to steep for 20 minutes. 4.) Then strain it & refrigerate.
Ingredients for Jalapeño Julep:
2 oz Relativity - New American Whiskey
6 - 9 Mint Leaves Depending on Size
1 teaspoon Jalapeño Syrup (see recipe above)
1.) In a rocks class - Muddle Together the mint leaves and 1tsp of the Jalapeño Syrup, 2.) Add 2 oz of our Relativity - New American Whiskey (if you don’t have it - try another local craft brand), 3.) Then add ice (crushed is preferred, but cubes are fine), 4.) Stir 13 times