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August 2013

Ingredients You Need for Personal Innovation (Part 1)

IMG_0851Have you ever baked a recipe only to find out while eating it later that you left out an important ingredient?  You can tell almost immediately that you didn’t do something right.  The same thing can happen to you when attempting to try something new.  

There are two key ingredients that have to be included in any process of change:  

 The Right Attitude Within You & The Right People Around You


The Right Attitude Within You


“This is the way we’ve always done it.”

Those are mental limitations.  I know, we usually hear those expressions from other people; but have you slipped into a subtle resistance of your own? 

I have always been an early adopter and willing to trail blaze when needed.  So, you can imagine my surprise when I suddenly realized that a recent change caused my tolerance needle to bounce around in the “red zone” for a few minutes.  I did not like the “new way” and started wishing for the good old days.  

“Hit the brakes!  Does this mean I’m getting old?” 

No, I had just gotten comfortable with my preferences.  When we get too busy with life and work, we gravitate to patterns and systems that have familiarity in order to keep a sense of balance.  That’s natural.  It is also a dangerous, slippery slope that affects our attitudes toward change.  Learning something new takes time.  It means I have to let go something I’m good at, in order to take hold of something I’m not good at...yet.

Someone jokingly said: “Change will not kill you, the transitions might.”

We laugh, because we know that the growing and learning during the changes is the hard part.  But what we learn is what can make us better. 

The right attitude within you is evident when you are open to a new experience and willing to act on what you learn.

“Experiments are key to innovation because they rarely turn out as you expect and you learn so much" - Jeff Bezos

What have you learned lately about your openness to trying new things? 

Let me know.

- Steven Iwersen


Have you noticed a level of resistance from others when you suggest they get out of their comfort zone or think outside of the box?

Most people are comfortable where they are because they’re operating within their competence and personal confidence.  Encouraging them to be more creative or to change, is about as frightening to them as being pushed into the deep end of the pool before they’ve learned how to swim.  

A small percentage of people enjoy the thrill of exploring new ideas.  The majority are hesitant to take the risk for fear of failing.  They have also come to believe that they don’t have the skills to be innovative.  But that isn’t true.

Can everyone be creative?

I would say that the answer is an emphatic,YES!

That is why I’ve created our brand new seminar:


This program is designed to spark a process that helps the majority of employees to rediscover creativity and to embrace change.   What if we designed an approach to creative development and change management that was less threatening?  Here is a short interview about the seminar:


It is vital that leaders provide an environment for personal and professional growth in the arena of creative thinking.

Forbes Magazine published an article titled The Secret to Unleashing Genuis.  It highlights the importance of building the creative capabilities of others.  They interviewed Marc Benioff (founder of Saleforce) and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.  Both stated that the success of their companies is directly related to the expectations of creating a culture of creative thinking.

“I can’t do it all. I don’t have all the ideas. That isn’t my job. My job is to build a culture of innovation. That’s something that we try to enforce. We encourage it. We value it. We notice it. We compensate for it. We require it.” - Benioff 

In contrast, the article also highlighted that “10% to 15% of the most innovative leaders in the world don’t bother to encourage the people around them to innovate.... These leaders often believe their ideas are so much better than their colleagues’ that they see little value in building talent around them.”  That mindset is short sighted.  

Your goal as a leader should be to create the culture that inspires your employees to be a part of the next great idea!

For more information about bringing the "THINKING INSIDE THE BOX" seminar to your company, call 913-406-3824 or email [email protected]

How to Get People To Like You

Every one of us wants to be liked. 

Likability, like it or not, is a significant quality in personal and professional relationships.  If you have it, you have a greater potential of experiencing a fulfilling life.  If you don’t have it, it feels like you’re stuck and you can’t get ahead.

Yes, I know there are people that seem to be naturally easy to like.  But, likability is not a trait reserved just for those born with a pleasant disposition.  It is a skill that can be learned and mastered by anyone.

Let’s face it - we all enjoy doing business with pleasant people.  We enjoy spending time with people we like.  And, we politely go out of our way to avoid folks that are negative, obnoxious, self-centered, or just generally grumpy.

Which one are you?  

You might be likability-challenged if:

  • You are having a hard time connecting with others
  • You have been told that you need to work on your people skills
  • You attend parties/networking events but don’t mingle well
  • You leave a conversation wondering why you spent all the time talking about how bored, lonely or angry you are about circumstances.
  • People avoid you. 
  • You make excuses to not participate in activities or avoid team work.

Now, don’t blow this off and go look for an article that is more comfortable to read.  This is a critical component to your professional development.  

You can become a likable person.

 If you want to get people to like you, start by honestly asking yourself the right questions.   The TOP 21 LIKABILITY QUESTIONS include:

  1. Am I easy to talk to?
  2. Am I encouraging?
  3. Do I look happy?
  4. Do I greet others before they acknowledge me?
  5. Am I listening to understand or to refute them?

The answers to these questions will reveal how you perceive your self and give you a great starting point for making the changes that will create a more likable you!  It has been said, “If you want to change the world around you, first start by changing the world within you.”

Are you a person that people genuinely like?  

Well, take the next step in the LIKABILITY QUEST:

CLICK HERE for your FREE copy of the LIKABILITY ASSESSMENT and find out where you land in the Four Levels of Likability.  (You get the The Likability Questions, the Score Card and the Likability Scoring Chart which includes the Four Levels.)