Diversity, Risk and Innovation Growth

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Have you noticed how organizations that risk change also tend to leap forward, in the direction of that shift?  Some even find potential for global recognition, simply because they moved forward on stepping stones past limitations toward more diverse opportunities.

Diversity, Risk and Innovation Growth

It takes a learned flexibility. Toss in a new zest to discover hidden or unused talents and you’ll expand  beyond ruts that keep your competition spinning wheels. Today I’ll share how MITA facilitates brainpowered renewal with CEO Hour radio hosts Bruce Peters and Diana Palatos. Would love to hear your insights!

Are you moving in the direction of innovative renewal? It takes a plan that’s rarely easy, and sometimes suffers heat from others’ risks.

Risk-taking tactics, open segues to filing work digitally across departments, as a way to avoid paper piles, open more access to organizational goals, and save time.  can help the old guard to leap over a few routines and ruts that hold back innovative growth.

Explore exciting new discoveries about hidden traps that can undo brainpower and squash risks.  See how limitations come from failure to snip an amygdala at work, or from snapping back with a toxic tone when others ridicule new directions. If risk-taking means leaving no brains behind, as an organization propels forward, why not identify brain chemicals involved and rewire more for thrills and adventure at work? The brain’s limbic system that triggers a sense of thrill and adventure tends to be more highly active in some. People can  ignite a desire for risk and for experiencing new things, according to researchers such as Dr. Andrew Chambers, at Yale School of Medicine. Can you see a need for such sparks where you work?

Risk Growth with the Brain in Mind

In brain based approaches – growth follows faster with multiple intelligences tossed into the ring.  Problems that tend to bite back at work, such as apathy, often respond well to novel strategies.  Tactics that tap into unique solutions from workers’ multiple intelligences, retool an organization to extend beyond the one-size-fits all limitation for a finer fit with innovative opportunities. How so?

For example – invite an apathetic worker to share a key intelligence used outside work. Then facilitate a new approach to replace one daily routine with a practice that uses more of that person’s unique talents.

Some folks ask, But how can you change a workplace practice that must adhere to organizational or governmental regulations? The key is to use different approaches to reach the same high standards from diverse angles.

Survey your intelligences below to discover those you use daily, and to find others that remain hidden or unused.

For more precise results,  skim the list below and then jot down about 15 items that describe you best. Simply scribble the numbers on a paper for any items that describe you.

The key is to move quickly, without pausing to ponder on any one survey item. If you have to stop and think more about any statement, then simply leave that item blank, and move on.

Question Brainpower Through Growth Survey


1. Sitting still is hard as I’d rather remain active. _____

2. Organization describes my daily and weekly schedule. _____

3. Photography intrigues me and I capture cool pictures. _____

4. Designing web pages stimulates me. _____

5. I enjoy throwing or catching games. _____

6. People solicit me to create their posters and charts. _____

7. I tend to learn from opposing views and love to debate. _____

8. Background music helps me to concentrate and create. _____

9. People tell me they love my stories and ask for more. _____

10. Sketching nature scenes is easier for me than woodworking. _____

11. I often describe details for people when they’re unsure. _____

12. Multiple choice tests are usually quite easy for me. _____

13. To show concern for others, I’d likely join a march. _____

14. I like to play a musical instrument to relax. _____

15. A favorite activity is keeping a personal journal. _____

16. When I read factual books, I tend to outline chapters._____

17. I like to create and share metaphors as a way to describe. _____

18. I interact well with most people on team projects. _____

19. When dining in a restaurant, I enjoy background music. _____

20. I like to walk alone at times to think or relax or plan. _____

21. In novels, I compare characters’ choices with my own. _____

22. With or without a map, I usually find destinations well. _____

23. Days after I attend a concert, melodies replay in my mind. _____

24. After I catch fish, I enjoy cooking them on a campfire. _____

25. I like singing in a choir, even on a busy week. _____

26. When I write, I  tell stories based on personal experience. _____

27. I can easily identify patterns and larger meanings from data. _____

28. In all four seasons, I enjoy changes connected to nature. _____

29. My best thinking occurs when I brainstorm with other people. _____

30. Helping others complete a project brings much satisfaction. _____

31. Finding solutions for numerical problems in fun. _____

32. I’d rather write a team public release than write one alone. _____

33. Every chance I get, I participate in some sport. _____

34. I’d leap to challenges of using gestures in a role play. _____

35. I’d like to inventory my weaknesses as a way to grow. _____

36. Learning new dance steps or moving to music is satisfying. _____

37. On a walk in woods I pause  to observe animals’ habits. _____

38. I’m drawn to water such as lakes, creeks, rivers or oceans. _____

39. I would enjoy writing an essay for a contest. _____

40. Sometimes I awaken early just to watch the sunrise. _____

Answers for preferred activities from the survey are listed after each intelligence below.  Find your strengths, and you’ll see your intellectual mix of intelligences used in an ordinary day.

Verbal-Linguistic: 7, 9, 11, 17, 39
Logical-Mathematical: 2, 12, 16, 27, 31
Visual-Spatial: 3, 4, 6, 10, 22
Musical: 8, 14, 19, 23, 25
Bodily-Kinesthetic: 1, 5, 33, 34, 36
Interpersonal: 13, 18, 29, 30, 32
Intrapersonal: 15, 20, 21, 26, 35
Naturalistic: 24, 28, 37, 38, 40

Take this survey again soon to measure your growth.  Originator of multiple intelligences, Harvard’s Howard Gardner,  defines intelligence as … “the ability to solve real-life problems, to generate new problems, and to create something meaningful or offer a service that is valued within a person’s culture or community.”

Typical strengths for persons gifted in each intelligence below,  are adapted from my 2005 book, MITA Strategies in the Classroom and Beyond.

Verbal-Linguistic: tell stories, write essays, participate in interviews, converse easily with peers.
Logical-Mathematical: solve problems, balance checkbooks, create schedules, budget money
Visual-Spatial: paint, draw, design web pages, design rooms, make cards, create logos.
Musical: attend concerts, play instrument, hum melodies, sing with others, enjoy rhythms.
Bodily-Kinesthetic: engage in sports, enjoy movement,  walk on tours, use body language.
Interpersonal: discuss in groups, do community projects,  debate, join online chat rooms.
Intrapersonal: keep personal journal, read alone, study to answer personal questions.
Naturalistic: collect specimens, hunt, follow animal footprints, photograph landscapes.

This survey helps you awaken new intelligences that could hold life-changing opportunities. Remembering that you strengthen weaker areas by simply using them more, what will you do differently today? In the doing the brain rewires for growth.

Let your brain lead you past limitations and ruts

If you believe IQ is fixed and business is stuck in recession without options, then stagnation may be ensured at work, because brains either fuel or limit growth through mental plasticity. More intelligence at work relies on multiple intelligences, and leaders who expect dendrite brain cells to reconfigure for higher IQ in multiple domains. MITA brain based approaches facilitate originality through many mental and technological portals, such as multiple intelligences, built into strategies online.  How so?

1. Looking for more linguistic intelligence? Want words to come easier, ads to mean more, speeches to ring truer, or books to yield innovative action? Then play with words, do crosswords, join a list serve discussion, compete in scrabble, debate, or offer to speak to leadership conference. Search for new ideas on the internet, write a blog.  Or tell your best idea in a Tweet of 140 letters or less.  To develop words and language daily is to boost your linguistic brainpower, which includes mastery over language.

2. Interested in more musical intelligence? Want music to move and shake workplace creative designs? Listen to Gregorian Chant to move you out of stress. Play Bach or Handel to plan your next team project. Toss tunes from Shumann, Chopin or Liszt into your romance and watch it grow. Or gain inspiration from Soul, Blues or Calypso. Don Campbell shows how to gain musical intelligence to jack up workplace productivity, or to improve moods on a bad day.

3. Want more intrapersonal intelligence? Leaders need intuitive brainpower for better decisions, common sense for keen insights, contentment in your own company, simple ability to laugh more on a busy day.  Thanks to neurogenesis, we now know these intrapersonal traits (that grow novel leadership) also increase with use. Panic a bit too fast? Feel sidelined a bit too much? Run from risks or new adventures? Grow sad when others celebrate family ties without you? Leaders who enjoy a heaping dose of intrapersonal smarts,  add contentment and turn tough challenges (such as attack from another)  into opportunities to move forward without sinking.

4. Need more bodily kinesthetic intelligence? Would you like to exercise better? Then step and move beside a person who stays fit. Leaders who make deals and share insights on the  golf course, simply learn to shuffle and stretch in ways that grow more memory within body muscles themselves. It’s much the same for building websites or moving to Wii tasks, where the brain kicks into kinesthetic mode.  With daily acts leaders shift into movement.  Gears rev to  zap innovation alive when you act on ideas. New research also shows how it depends less on age or physical limitations,  that limit too many traditional workplaces.

5. Dream of more mathematical or logical intelligence? Leaders who create organized schedules to plan the next week, develop more of this intelligence with each schedule that advances them to targets.  Since sequencing and patterning is at math smart’s core, so’s organization at the heart of math IQ and seeing the bigger picture through numbers or patterns. Unlike other intelligences, mathematical leaders lead more through math ideas that move people and profit forward. Highly successful leaders who are strong in this IQ, model how mistakes add growth.  In contrast rigid workplaces use errors in math thinking, as arrows to kill a brain’s best. It works well to increase novelty that fits all, and it differs from the way we tend to do business. Einstein’s words that learning’s what remains after one’s forgotten everything learned in school, are relevant to innovation growth, that requires different leadership skills.

6. After more visual or spatial intelligence? Ask any marketing team to grab a paper along with anything that writes – and sketch their funniest marketing memory in the last few weeks. There is no need to attend an art class, or learn to paint, to grow spatial IQ at work. It’s true that highly spatial leaders may visit galleries, surround their offices with images that teach more about leadership, or create an avatar to show their novel thoughts to an online community. But most leaders graph ideas, select visuals to explain life, or take photographs to record the work of experts.  Like the other intelligences, spatially intelligent leaders  can facilitate others to develop more visual intelligence through use.

7. Into higher interpersonal intelligence? A leader who interview a person in order to discover what makes that person successful, is growing interpersonal IQ? It also comes to those who ask of peers, How are you smart?” rather than the passé question How smart are you? Most leaders agree that people high in interpersonal intelligence will come away from conflict with solutions in mind, rather than retribution.  Because they let go of the need to be liked by all, even controversial exchanges offer opportunity to expand innovative approaches through a leader’s interpersonal acumen.

8. Long for more naturalistic intelligence? Leaders who take time to breathe in refreshing scents of spring, surround themselves by sounds of brooks running, model high naturalistic IQ.  At work they may captivate changes in design as nature changes for different seasons, or show naturalistic intelligence, by the way they use patterns in nature to address problems at work. Naturalistically strong leaders gain more by using patterns and designs found outside to solve problem faced in any situation. Soil types, animal or tree patterns, or rock formations – all amount to nature’s wisdom that converts into novel business approaches.

MITA  facilitates workers to value multiple talents developed for innovative workplaces. To illustrate strengths that could renew a workplace, for instance  – use a flip video camera – to record 3 minutes of each intelligence in action.

It may be far too simple to say use it or lose it, when you consider that people possess more than one or two intelligences. For better balance innovative leaders take brainpower to new levels.

Start with this online survey, to determine what to expand on for the next original advancement at your workplace. In MITA brain based programs, leaders start with even one activity planned to involve a strength that leader most enjoys. Another action deliberately dips into a weaker IQ area leaders hope to strengthen, for a smoother ride in one of the areas listed above. It’s through novelty that comes from added intelligence at work, leaders will best facilitate innovation for a new era.

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset

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