In Innovation

By their very nature, charities exist to enhance social wellbeing. It stands to reason that if the people who are part of those charities, the ones who are committed to service, are in fact invested in themselves so that they may be able to better facilitate the process of innovation.

Every boss, CEO, leader, manager, employer, or supervisor has probably asked themselves the question: how can we increase individual performance, while maintaining their wellbeing and motivation?

Enter: the human-centered innovation approach.

Taking a human-centered approach to innovation within an organisation means developing solutions to hurdles by calling on the human perspective, and people in all parts of the brainstorming and problem-solving process. It starts with people and conversation, and ends in innovative solutions. It means that the pressure is removed for staff to be “experts” in a field, and instead asks staff to simply get really great and problem solving.

Studies have confirmed1 that:

  • Better quality leadership leads to higher, better, and more enjoyable workplace performance
  • Leadership is more effective when it is based on integrity, openness, transparency, genuinely valuing others, being able to resolve problems, and being decisive
  • Leadership capability is a significant predictor of staff self-confidence and a sense of team effectiveness
  • It is incredibly important that a leader engages with others. It’s a leaders’ role to act in a way that promotes engagement!

Since engagement within a workplace is closely related to team performance, it also increases positive emotions, levels of motivation, job satisfaction, organisational commitment, and general wellbeing. Putting all of these pieces of the puzzle together means that an organisation practicing human-centered innovation and focussing on employee engagement will be more equipped to cope with change.

It’s a cycle: social support and engagement in a workplace lead to increased innovation, and increased innovation leads to more social support! When the cycle is in gear, everyone benefits: servant leaders benefit from the experience of others, and a workplace thrives.

1 Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe, John Alban-Metcalfe, Margaret Bradley, Jeevi Mariathasan, Chiara Samele, (2008),”The impact of engaging leadership on performance, attitudes to work and wellbeing at work: A longitudinal study”, Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 22 Iss: 6 pp. 586 – 598


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