Taste and Complexity
Blogging to Inspire

Unexpected Precondition for Innovation, noted by Nilofer Merchant

When we are trying to drive innovation in an organization, we often ignore an essential precondition. This precondition is sometimes called "psychological safety." Nilofer Merchant has a valuable angle on this for managers. You can't get to psychological safety in your team until you recognize the unique value of each individual. It's not enough to say "you can express your ideas." You have to notice what each person wants to contribute and make space for them.

Nilofer Merchant: Belonging Precedes "Doing Stuff", 2017-Dec-21

We each need to belong. Having a sense of belonging is, in fact, a most fundamental human psychological need, as essential as our need for shelter, sustenance, and being safe from harm. For those of us who took Psych, is in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs....

Belonging is the Key to Innovation

With belonging, you show up in the world more fully alive. With it, you feel safe enough to share an early notion, to explore that seemingly wild idea, and even take the risks to invent the future. So, before you can “Do Stuff”— dream and think stuff up, build or create stuff, act and react to stuff — we each need to belong....

We want to be seen, and belong in a meaningful way… as ourselves. By our Onlyness. If there is one thing any leader can do to create more innovation, it’s to lead in such a way as to create belonging.