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Innovation, passion, creativity and worklife

Metacool links together innovation and organization creating environments where their employees are happy.  Diego sees innovation rising from enjoyable employment cultures.  He uses Ferrari as an example. 

I am not an avid fan, but having grown up in South around NASCAR, I appreciate the complexity and innovation that go into racing.  This is particularly true of Formula I where automobile innovation has always been at the forefront.  And it must be a very exciting place to work.

Diego speaks of the flow that  produces innovation when employees enjoy their work.

There are several questions that come to mind in responding to his thought all rising from this principal question - What are the components of a happy, enjoyable work environment and how are they produced?

The philosopher Aristotle speaks of happiness as eudaimonia, as a fulfillment of purpose.  And that purpose is developed as an artist develops their skills for mastering their craft. 

2. How can leaders enable their employees who do the most menial of work find a sense of personal fulfillment in their worklife?
The answer is simply to recognize that the person who cleans the lavatory or does data entry contribute to not only the outcome of the work, but to the creation of a happy, enjoyable work place.  Years ago, when I work at a small college, we discovered, after a little research, that the staff people who had the most regular and immediate interaction with students were the housekeepers in the residence halls.  As a result, we began to interact with them as partners in the work of student services.

3.   How can leaders foster openness that allows for pent-up creativity to be released?
I craft this question intentionally as one where there is a culture of constraint, rather than one of openness.  What I have discovered over the years is that leaders unwittingly or intentionally send a message that an employees ideas are not wanted.  A culture of compliance, or staying in your place, speak when you are spoken to, grows.  Why?  I believe it is simply that leaders fall into the trap of a) believing that leaders is telling people what to do, b) their ideas are better than anyone elses', and c) that innovation isn't needed, "we are doing just fine, thank you".

Ultimately, if an organization is to innovate, it means that leaders must instill confidence in their people and trust in their relationship with them.

Until this happens, it is difficult to imagine an atmosphere for innovation happening, and consequently, the organization being a leader in their industry.

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