Sunday, October 09, 2011

Values, Thanks and Innovation

Here's something you might not have thought about Thanksgiving: it's a great time for innovation.

Harvest is often seen as an ending and thanks are something we give after something has happened. It is easy to stop with that recognition and miss the bigger one.  Innovation starts in the middle: it takes something that already exists and changes it to make it better.  The things and people for which we are thankful are exactly the best place to look for innovations.

Think of the people for whom you are thankful.  Now think of some part of your work and ask: What can I change that would give something to these people who have given something to me? What could I do more or differently to support their values or make it easier for them to take action they want to take? What one thing will they say when I have developed to the next stage?

Then think of things for which you are thankful.  Line them up with your values and ask: how could I use this thing differently to support a different value or to deepen my experience of value?  Ask: if I didn't have this thing, how could I replace the value it represents for me?

The best way to show that you are thankful for the good things in your life is to appreciate them actively. Innovation is one way to be active in your appreciation and to ensure that there will be lots for which to say thank you again next year.

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