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When I read through this post just after finishing it, I thought it might be a bit too silly, or at least too basic and obvious. No academic statistics or processes at all, just common sense. But after giving it a second thought, I actually think I hit the mark, i.e. that most people forget the simple trick of using common sense in the innovation process. So let today…. and the next day, and the next… be ‘encouragement’ days.

There are loads of processes and methodologies for learning how to be more creative and innovative. Some are rather academic and technical, and of course I think it’s very important to learn and understand them. But in this post I will share a tool that is as efficient as it is simple.

In previous posts I have talked about the power of passion in creativity. Behind passion is energy—most often lots of energy. If you feel you are not that kind of creative person, you can still play a very important role in creative people’s lives just by “seeing” them. What it means in reality is to appraise encourage people, to give them positive feedback. What can be better than that?

Some studies suggest that happy people produce more thoughts as their brain is more active when they are happy—and more thoughts mean more ideas.  You can achieve this brain activity boost through the simple trick of making people happy. Stop….please pause for a few seconds to remind yourself when you last got positive feedback (from your partner, friend, colleague or kids). Can you remember the energy and confidence it gave you?

Every now and then I am surprised and actually concerned why more people in a company don’t actively try to encourage people by giving them positive feedback and attention. I am not just talking about the manager – employee relationship. Everyone has the ability to “see” another person, and his or her efforts and challenges.

This is more than just an opportunity. It’s actually everyone’s obligation, and I am sure that this kind of spontaneous feedback is one of the most important ingredients in a successful company’s culture.

So, let’s start this Monday, April 02, 2012 by encouraging one person a day. I’m sure the results will be very positive. Good luck, in case you need it ;-)

9 Responses to “Today I Will Boost Innovation by Encouraging Someone”

  1. Ian Mapp

    Martin, as you said you were not going to include academic research, but there a well-documented characteristic to understanding high-performance teams, namely a ratio of 6:1 of positive comments to negative ones.

    To follow your lead, I am not publishing links either, but the phenomenon is easily found with Google, Bing or the reader’s preferred search engine.

    Oh, and well done by the way, for a useful reminder of a simple strategy. ;-)


  2. Marianne Gillessen

    Hi Martin,

    thank you for your article. My way of encouraging my team or a project team is to start the meetings sometime with the question “What was your greatest success last week ?” The message behind is ” you were successful, but what was the greatest success”. I took this hint from Marshall B. Rosenberg, the inspired founder of “non violent communication”.

    People start to look happy even before they answer, I get a lot of informations that I didn’t get before. People train themselves to see themselves more successful, because often communication is only about problems.

    We laugh more than before, becaused by the good mood, work is so much easier and at the time efficient.

    best regards


    • Martin Gunnarsson

      Martin Gunnarsson

      Thank you Marianne
      I will start to use this technique right away. I can see that it will create lots of laughs and energy – both these two are good fuel to creativity and more innovations.

      All the best

  3. Muneera Sheriff

    Well said… It’s a great article and I totally agree with the points mentioned here. Well done Martin.

  4. Sumekhala

    Hi Martin,

    Agree with you 100%. This had been my favourite concept for years now. And I know it works…by experience! But I apply this to none other than my 3 year old son :)

    I communicate my expectations on him (positive ones..of course) and he reacts by fulfilling my expectation. For example, I keep telling him, what a good, helpful boy he is. He is exactly behaving like that. Encouragement towards Good things work marvellously!

    The concept you mark as common sense is also a well known concept. If you check ‘Pygmalion’ or ‘Pygmalion in Management’ you will find many stories related to this.

    thanks for highlighting this very useful easy to apply method.

    Best Regards,

    • Muneera Sheriff

      I agree with you sumekhala about giving positive feedback for kids bring unbelievable result in their behaviour. I must admit that I find my kids behave better when they are praised lol :)

  5. Rasini

    Hi Martin,

    It’s a very constructive article. I totally agree with it.
    “Some studies suggest that happy people produce more thoughts as their brain is more active when they are happy”
    Personally I believe this a lot. Not only in the working environment but in family life also you get very enthusiastic when you get positive feedback.


  6. Martin Gunnarsson

    Martin Gunnarsson

    It’s actually a technique to be used in many situations – also outside work hours. It’s a mindset, and why don’t have some reminders; for instance a sign at the door when leaving the house for a new working day, that is also to be seen when you come home and meet with family again.

    See you


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