If it had been any other dreary, cold Wednesday morning at 7 am, I would not have been nearly as chipper. But last Wednesday was not only an Ignite Louisville workday (yay!) but specifically “Innovate Like a Leader” day, and I was stoked. My brain shoots out pretty crazy ideas on the daily, and I was excited to learn ways to harness those ideas and use them to drive actual outcomes. So, because I learned not to bury the lede, I will tell you right now I was not disappointed!
After starting the day with a panel of past Ignite graduates offering incredibly valuable insights into how to handle the homestretch of the program, we dove right in to the FUN stuff. Lisa Zangari, the facilitator of the day and a member of the Leadership Louisville team, has a presence that is both highly energetic while being concise and easy to follow. Whether it was the Empathy Compass, the roles of ideas like Playfulness, Realness and Bravery in cultivating innovation, or the importance of creating a “sunny” environment in which to “greenhouse” those big ideas – Lisa makes large concepts not only easier to understand, but sets you up with real ways to implement them into your Ignite team project.
I had two main takeaways:
1. When you consider Innovation to be an equation, i.e., insights + identify + impact + ideas – it becomes clear which missing piece may be holding up your idea, and allows you to focus efforts accordingly. Great for small teams with limited bandwidth – like mine!
2. While we all have natural “Rivers of Thinking” in which we find comfort in our expert knowledge base, there are ways to escape those ruts- and when you do – really innovative, awesome ideas will follow. So be BRAVE – that is a core component of innovation too, btw!
While I wish the Ignite Louisville program was much longer, I have learned so much in the eight short months we have been together. I am not ready for the program to end, but I am more than ready to start putting all my new skills into practice – in fact I already am!