One of the messages from “Seeing Innovation,” this year’s Annual Networking Reception (ANR), was that we have to push innovation to all employees. Sounds great, but easier said than done. Trying to move people to take on behaviors that don’t come naturally is very hard when you’re working en masse.
As a coach, however, I can ease a person into understanding why they might not naturally come to “innovation” or future focused ideas. I can work with the individual’s personal style and what value they naturally bring to the innovation paradigm. Many people link creativity to innovation and quickly note, “I’m not a creative type," but I think we all have ways to add to bringing new ideas to bear.
Coaches often work with assessment instruments and one of my favorites is the MBTI® (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) because it is rich with information about people’s personalities. The theory of psychological type comes from Carl Jung, a Swiss Psychologist who founded analytical psychology. I have studied Jungian Psychology, and I know, for example, through the MBTI® that there are types that are more adaptive and those who are quite original. Within the category of “adaptive innovators” there are those who focus on efficiency and those who tend to naturally simplify and refine ideas. And for those we are considered “original innovators,” there are those who tend to adopt ideas from other places or situations and those with completely original or different ideas (Introduction to Type and Innovation, by Damian Killen and Gareth Williams).
Janet, on the right, showing her #VUHRD pride while traveling in Ireland with the directors of the NYJungCenter.
Whether you provide some coaching as an internal HR business partner or you’re an external executive coach, you can support organizational efforts to emphasize new capabilities through collaborative, customized goal setting with individuals. You can support them through experiments and dialogues that will enhance how they see new opportunities and how to find their unique point of entry. When you coach leaders with significant responsibility, they can then take those ideas into their units and coach the people that work for them.
Coaching skills include strong listening skills, self-knowledge, and the awareness of others as well as the ability to ask good questions and collaborate on goal setting and problem solving. Coaching requires us to understand business and teams and systems in order to guide others to make change or further grow their capabilities and access agility while accomplishing work with others.
If you have an interest in coaching, whether as an internal coach in an HR department, or an external coach and entrepreneur, I hope you’ll join me for the Executive Coaching 1-credit course on July 14th & 15th. The course will help you learn more about how organizations are using coaches and how coaches are perfecting their craft and making a difference in the development of today’s leaders. If you are interested in registering for this course, please contact the VUHRD office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janet S. Steinwedel, PhD is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate HRD program at Villanova University. She is also the President of Leader's Insight, an Executive Coaching and Leadership consultancy, and the author of The Golden Key to Executive Coaching. Learn more about her here!