Category Archives: Environment

New Ideas Need a Soft Place To Land

You can quote me on this. I’ve been using the phrase and the idea behind it for years to explain that people feel more comfortable contributing new thinking, knowing their ideas will be well received; that psychological safety exists.


Let’s face it, over 15,000 scientists worldwide agree we need to shift away from ‘business as usual’ toward a more environmentally sustainable way of acting, living. With that big ask, comes opportunities to use imagination, to free thinking to create new futures.

Environments with psychological safety give new ideas a soft place to land. Not necessarily adopted, as put into action, heard and considered.

Psychologically safe environments let people risk new ways of thinking and understanding challenges, and stretch beyond ‘normal’ to consider alternative methods, outcomes, and activities without feeling threatened, insecure or embarrassed.  In other words, out of the box thinking is welcomed; people walk the talk, they encourage using curiosity and exploration.

I recently read Inc magazine’s recently published article The Results of Google’s Team Effectiveness Research Will Make You Rethink How You Build Teams.  It cited the importance of psychological safety as a determinant of effective teams. Other qualities are dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact.

What if, in the lead up to World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21, you planned to enable psychological safety in your environment?

Innovation is about people after all. New ideas need a soft place to land. See what you can do to be open and receptive to new thinking – yours and others’.

WCID founder Marci Segal outside the UN April 20, 2017. WCID founder Marci Segal outside the UN April 20, 2017.

Can Office Environment Boost #Creativity?

The workplace is evolving at an alarming rate. Gone are the days of marching into the office and being isolated in your cubicle for eight hours.

Sourced through from:

Ideas for work environments to support new ideas, new decisions, new programs…

See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights

The Creative Power of Meeting Eyeball to Eyeball

The subtleties of in-person interaction are critical … to creativity. A team of researchers from two U.S. universities and three European universities studied interactions within several teams at the University of Cologne that were trying to find new methods of prediction and analysis in psychology, economics, computer science and other fields; independent raters judged the creativity and quality of the teams’ ideas.

Understanding group creativity is increasingly important as more organizational problem solving gets done by teams rather than individuals; when Oxford Economics asked major employers to name the skills they want most in employees, “co-creativity and brainstorming” ranked near the top.

Additionally….The main reason Google serves its employees gourmet food for free is to make sure they’ll go to the cafeterias, where they’ll meet randomly in person. Google even measures the time spent waiting in line; three to four minutes is optimal.

Sourced through from: Read this article.  Worth it!


Why Curious People Are Destined for the C-Suite

We all have the potential to be curious, given the right conditions. And curiosity leads to creativity.

”While curiosity has ignited numerous startup ventures, it also plays an important role at more established companies, where leaders are having to contend with disruptive change in the marketplace. “These days, a leader’s primary occupation must be to discover the future,” Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich told me. It’s “a continual search,” Shaich says, requiring that today’s leader keep exploring new ideas—including ideas from other industries or even from outside the business world.

Advising business leaders to “be more curious” sounds simple enough, but it may require a change in leadership style. In many cases, managers and top executives have risen through the ranks by providing fixes and solutions, not by asking questions. And once they’ve attained a position of leadership, they may feel the need to project confident expertise.

To acknowledge uncertainty by wondering aloud and asking deep questions carries a risk: the leader may be perceived as lacking knowledge. In their book The Innovator’s DNA, authors Clayton Christensen, Hal Gregersen and Jeff Dyer observed that the curious, questioning leaders they studied seemed to overcome this risk because they had a rare blend of humility and confidence: They were humble enough to acknowledge to themselves that they didn’t have all the answers, and confident enough to be able to admit that in front of everyone else.

While we may tend to think of curiosity as a hardwired personality trait—meaning, one either is blessed with “a curious mind” or not—according to Ian Leslie, author of the book Curious, curiosity is actually “more of a state than a trait.” We all have the potential to be curious, given the right conditions.

Leslie notes that curiosity seems to bubble up when we are exposed to new information and then find ourselves wanting to know more. Hence, the would-be curious leader should endeavor to get “out of the bubble” when possible; to seek out new influences, ideas, and experiences that may fire up the desire to learn more and dig deeper.”

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Keep creativity alive

Creativity does not start at 9 am and end at 6 pm – it is an ongoing process that we have to train ourselves to have for a lifetime, and once you are in it – you win it! If you are lucky enough to work in an environment that nurtures creativity and allows you the chance to think creatively and be creative day in and day out- consider yourself lucky! 

Wouldn’t it be great to create an environment in which people feel free to be creative (new ideas, new decisions, and/or new actions to birth new futures) everyday?   Why not give it a try  or pilot during World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 to 21 ?  You’ve got nothing to lose.   


Scholarly support for celebrating World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 to 21 

Let’s loose creative energies this World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21. It’s in our nature.  See the quote below.

WCIW is a social innovation – join in, be a WCIW Agent.  Make space for creativity and innovation to thrive. Post your creative action here

“Human beings are inventive.  The capacity to explore new possibilities to create and to change is part of what defines our species.  Humans are also a social species, highly dependent on each other for the creation and maintenance of the world in which we live. The rules and beliefs which make up cultures both define and limit people and at the same time provide the material they need to create novelty. This has been defined as the paradox of agency (Friedland and Alford, 1991; Powell and DiMaggio, 1991; Sewell, 1992; Holm, 1995; Seoul and Creed, 2002); that as individuals, as social beings, people are both deeply conditioned by and dependent on the continuity and stability of the social systems they have invented. Additionally, they are capable of altering these through both conscious and unconscious effort.”

France’s Westley and Nino Antadze, Making a Difference:Strategies for Scaling Social Innovation for Greater Impact. The Innovation Journal: the Public Sector Innovation Journal, Vol. 15(2), article 2.

The 50 most critical scientific & technological breakthroughs required for sustainable global development | LIGTT: Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies

The main purpose of the 50 Breakthroughs study is to identify where game-changing technologies are most required. The study’s main objectives are to:

  1. Foster a thought-provoking conversation about the role of technology in solving the world’s most pressing problems, and focus effort on the breakthroughs that really matter.
  2. Provide contextual background for technologists, so that they can determine how their work can address these critical challenges.
  3. Provide decision-makers a guide to asking the hard–but important–questions.

In this study, we consulted with a large number of experts, but not all of them agree with our conclusions. We are certain that new evidence will disprove some of our conclusions and analyses. Still, we are sharing our findings because the problems we all seek to address require urgent action, and we can’t wait for perfect data.


Reading this report absolutely qualifies as a WCIW 2015 activity, on the proviso that you take some action as a result.  Game?