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Encourage Innovation Through Optimism

August 1, 2011

There are several important takeaways in a recent article in Harvard Business Review, Learning Optimism with the 24×3 Rule.  First, the author provides the 3 traits of a “lucky attitude”.  (No, I am not going to tell you – I want you to read the article)  Second, his discussion of optimism, how to promote optimism within your organization and how optimism leads to better morale and ultimately, improved innovation.

Our culture seems to promote criticism.  The more acerbic and cutting the critique, the wiser the critic.  The problem is when we are constantly criticized, most of us stop generating and promoting new ideas.  It is simply easier on the psyche to keep quiet than to brave yet another barrage of criticism.  In his article, Tjan urges us to balance healthy criticism with optimism.  Hopefully, I told you just enough to entice you to read the article.  I am interested in your thoughts on the subject.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jerry Vorhies permalink
    August 2, 2011 2:09 pm

    “I’ll let you know in 24 hours,” That’s the going joke on the site anyway. I feel for most scenarios this is a sound practice. If an idea is brought up and shot down with no consideration it relays a message to the team or individual that the person giving the idea is not respected. It also shows that the decision maker is going to be difficult to work with and could lead a team or company into the ground by not taking the whole picture into account and listening to all that is going on around. A great opportunity could be missed and will certainly cause harm to relationships with the team over time.

    • August 3, 2011 4:54 pm

      Jerry,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Current culture encourages criticism and witty one-liners, yet constant criticism will eat away at the morale of any organization and effectively kill innovation. It sounds altruistic but looking for the merit in new ideas and viewpoints can help broaden our understanding and motivate the organization to grow and innovate.
      Margaret

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