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Mindset Jolt #9 – Motivate innovation by giving, not getting

Mindset Jolt #9 – Motivate innovation by giving, not getting

Welcome to our 3-Minute Conscious Innovator™ process!

Are you ready for a new, insight-provoking “Jolt” … something designed to “rearrange your molecules” as it elicits your unique, innovative potential in life and work?

Jolts wake us up. They spur new self-awareness, new capabilities and values, and new actions. Paradoxically, we don’t learn from each Jolt – rather, each Jolt “learns us”! That is, a Jolt sits in the background of our consciousness and then prompts new insights and energy over time. 

Jolt #9: Motivate innovation by giving, not getting

Year ago, Tom Chappell and his wife started Tom’s of Maine, a personal-care company noted for its innovative natural products and treating customers as real people, not statistics. At one point, he hired some MBA’s to guide their next growth phase and the business tripled in size. But something was seriously lacking, driving Tom to consider leaving the business.

Then Tom encountered the writings of Martin Buber on the difference between “I-Thou” empathetic relationships and “I-It” impersonal relationships:

    • The I-Thou principle: “What can I contribute?” “How can I connect and serve?” “How can we synergize our interests?”
    • The I-It principle: “How can I get what I want?” “How can I protect myself?” “How can I dominate the outcome?” 

Tom exclaimed, “That’s it! We built this company on treating customers as real people, not abstract categories. I have no interest in using people to maximize our gain.” He thus began a complete restoration and rejuvenation of their company culture to guide future growth.

How often do you stop and honestly reflect, as Tom did, on your motivations when you’re innovating? Do you initiate I-Thou or I-It relationships with the people you are innovating with, and for?

What difference would it make if your mindset for innovating was deeply rooted in an I-Thou, heartful connection with people and the planet? Have you ever experienced what Steven Covey  noted:

“When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.”

This conscious evolution from I-It to I-Thou takes us from self-interest to thoughtfulness, from transactional to transformative relationships. But know… This shift in mindset from getting to giving is not always easy. Doubts may arise, especially in the stress of day-to-day business needs. We may experience an internal purification process.

But with persistent, heartful practice, we can gain a personal experience of the wisdom spoken by Seneca, the ancient Roman philosopher: “The highest wealth is the absence of greed.”

-=-=-=- Now it's your turn -=-=-=-

Being a Conscious Innovator™  has a 3 phase cyclical process: become aware, capable, and versatile. Try on this Jolt in your life and work, then take 1 minute each to engage in the process:

  1. Become aware – What is 1 new awareness you have about yourself, others and your situation?
  2. Identify your capability – What is 1 personal value and 1 strength you can draw from and put into practice?
  3. Take versatile action – What is 1 action you can take to apply your awareness and capability in ways you have not thought of before?

-=-=-=- An invitation to join our process and share your insights -=-=-=-

If you haven’t already, we’d love for you to join our process and share your own experiences, while learning from the experiences of others! We appreciate what one person said about the Jolt process itself:

Innovation is a world by itself. It can change lives and help people become more positive. Doing a Jolt is already something! A new habit that promotes innovation and reflection.

It’s totally FREE to participate. To sign up and join us, go to this link and follow the easy directions:

Even if you haven’t participated up to this point, it’s never too late to start the process! It’s like a concise gym workout that provides an insightful “pause that refreshes” and evokes your unique, innovative potential in life and work.

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