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The Emotions of Innovation

The Emotions of Innovation

Daniel Pink in his fabulous book To Sell is Human shares the work of Barbara Fredrickson (P105). It provides a powerful and critical view to the emotions of innovation.

Our negative emotions are highly useful for specific situations. They have evolved to narrow people’s focus and drive their behavior to survival by focusing on the specific obstacle that is stopping or threatening us in that moment. It’s seeing the trees!

In contrast, our positive emotions have a wider focus on the possible thoughts and action we could take in the future. It’s seeing the forest!

To be truly innovative we need positive emotions otherwise we’re just reacting to the roadblock and not considering the full range of options.

Knowing how to manage and shift emotions is therefore crucial for creating innovation.

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