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Blog #9 - Innovation: A Lockdown Positive

Ok, so how many people are feeling that the days are getting a little too long now and/or experiencing cabin fever setting in? I sure did for a while then I read a blog written by a 10 year old and it proved that you are never too old to learn.

Learning isn't always about gaining new knowledge or skills through extrinsic factors, even as a business founder or CEO. In fact, whilst I have gained motivation extrinsically, I have discovered first-hand the value of intrinsic learning...

When I run corporate training sessions and I ask people to reflect, I can guarantee you that I hear that 'huff' from about 50% of the room. Why? Well my theory is because people think it is stupid, a waste of time, it isn't natural to evaluate ourselves, critique one's actions or to praise our achievements. However, by doing so some of the best solutions and ideas are born, not to mention personal satisfaction and greater individual awareness. And even better the activity costs almost nothing - just some time.

The blog I read was about how this little boy was lonely and didn't feel he was able to help the crisis that had exploded in front of his young eyes. He spoke about how grown-ups are doing everything yet all he does is clamp for the NHS on a Thursday and colour in some pictures. My heart was broken and I had only read the first paragraph. I was about to stop reading this then I saw a '😁' half way down the page. Skimming through the paragraph, he talks of how he had a call with his teacher who suggested that he writes down the things he has achieved everyday, however small they were and thinks of ways to make things easier everyday. His list was amazing and you could read the tone of his writing change, lighter, happier words... He had listed activities such as doing his homework and getting 90% in the weekly test. Everyday he mentioned talking to his family who he loved dearly and that even his Xbox gaming skills were improving. Self-reflection, no matter how small, can have such grand benefits. He went on to share that he found a smart way to improve his jobs around the house, meaning that he created more time to spend doing the fun stuff.

This spurred me on to do the same and to ask others what they have been doing - so many responses around reconnecting with family and friends - community is so important not just in the personal settings but the virtual office too. Quizzes and interactive problem solving sessions seem to be very popular and I have enjoyed facilitating them too. The to-do list that never gets done and the 'I'll get around to that one' tasks actually being ticked off. Plus some of my clients have really thought hard about pivoting their offering, switching from norm to the new norm, with ideas generated by the whole team.

The key to innovation, as we all already knew is time: time to think, time to explore, time to get creative. Lockdown has given many more people this time. Let's not lose these reborn skills or waste the benefit of time we have been gifted at this unprecedented time. Work with each other, work alone, but look at innovation, seek to improve your processes, your role, your impact.

Need some more inspiration check out some of these useful links:

Encourage yourself:

Start with a meaningful mission:

Explore you 'yikes' zone:

Ten types of innovation:

Well done to everyone who is innovating, staying home, staying safe & saving the NHS.


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