Entries with tag creativity .

4 Ways to Create a Culture of Intrapreneurship

Lately, you may have heard the relatively new term, intrapreneur.  If you're unfamiliar with the concept, the word defines a person within an organization who uses skills traditionally associated with entrepreneurship—like innovation and problem-solving—and applies them at the company they work for.

Essentially, it's a way for employees to engage in entrepreneurial-like behavior while avoiding the risk that entrepreneurs typically experience.  As you might imagine, companies love having this type of innovator on board at their organizations.  If you'd like to foster a culture of intrapreneurship at your company, you can do so by:

  1. Rewarding Proactive Behavior.  Employees are far more likely to be proactive problem solvers if they know that behavior is valued in their organization.  If you have layers of bureaucracy in place that makes proactive behavior all but impossible, we encourage you to start thinking of innovative ways to change that.

  2. Making Room for Creativity.  Firms that foster intrapreneurship tend to allow their employees greater flexibility.  For example, at 3M and Google, employees are allowed to spend 20% of their working hours pursuing personal projects related to the business.  In fact, these personal projects led to the creation of Post-It notes and Gmail.

  3. Accepting Micro-Failures.  In an innovative environment, there will be times that failures occur.  However, rather than berating employees for making mistakes, aim for an understanding attitude.  By accepting that failure is an occasional byproduct of risk, you create a culture where employees are more comfortable implementing new ideas.

  4. Acting on Ideas.  Sitting around and coming up with great ideas can be an enjoyable pasttime.  However, it's important to realize that if you're a company that truly wants to foster intrapreneurship, it's not just enough to devise useful ideas.  At some point, you need to act on them.  To do this, growth strategist Matthew Toren at business.com suggests you develop a structure to move ideas from the generation stage all the way to commercial realization. 

5 Smart Strategies to Prevent Burnout

With the ability to respond to emails and texts around the clock, it's now easier than ever for our work lives to consume our personal lives.  When this occurs, we often pay a price—burnout.  To avoid experiencing this common condition, we've identified some strategies to prevent burnout:

  1. Exercise.  According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercise is a fantastic way to prevent burnout.  After studying individuals who engaged in 4 weeks of regular exercise, the NIH reported, “Cardiovascular exercise was found to increase well-being and decrease psychological distress, perceived stress, and emotional exhaustion.  Resistance training was noticeably effective in increasing well-being and personal accomplishment and to reduce perceived stress.”

  2. Say “No” More Often.  Burnout and perfectionism are closely linked.  For that reason, it's important for perfectionists to realize that they don't need to do everything.  Become more comfortable saying “no” to time-consuming, undesirable requests.

  3. Meditate.  The higher up the corporate ladder you are, the more likely it is you have a stressful job that comes with a high risk of burnout.  To avoid that scenario, take a page from these CEOs' playbooks and practice meditating.  Doing so will help you feel more balanced and centered.

  4. Schedule Time for Yourself.  The only person who can create time in your busy schedule for relaxation is YOU.  Rather than writing personal time off as unimportant, give yourself a full day each week to relax and recharge.  Taking this time for yourself will give your mood a boost, making it easier for you to avoid burnout.

  5. Ask for Help.  Many people fear asking for help.  They worry that if they do so, they risk looking weak or incompetent.  However, consider this a case where your worst fears are likely to be unfounded.  Typically when someone approaches us for help, we're happy to offer it and don't think poorly of the requester.  Assume that other people are viewing you with a similarly generous spirit.

4 Ways to Experience More Joy

If you feel you could benefit from experiencing more joy in your life (and really, who among us couldn't??), we have some tips to help you feel happy, happy, happy (!!!) more often:

  1. Choose Gratitude.  By and large, people who maintain a gratitude practice report feeling happier than those who don't.  To make gratitude part of your regular outlook, we suggest you create a gratitude journal and write down 5 items you're grateful for in your journal every day.  Putting your thoughts on paper will prevent you from rushing through the exercise, allowing you to receive greater benefit.

  2. Imagine Happiness.  Research shows that by repeatedly imagining an activity, we actually change the neural structure of our brain.  To take advantage of this, spend time imagining yourself happy.  For instance, you might envision your day ahead as one where you have a pleasant drive to work, enjoyable interactions with your coworkers, a fun evening with friends after leaving the office, etc.  By imagining happy experiences, you're creating changes in your brain that will predispose you to create more joy in your daily activities, reports Experience Life magazine.

  3. Laugh.  It's not for nothing that laughter has been called the best medicine.  Research shows that laughter reduces stress, boosts immunity, and combats depression.  To experience more joy in your life, seek out opportunities to laugh, whether that means going to a comedy club, watching a sitcom you enjoy, or spending time with your funniest friend.

  4. Think Positively.  Sometimes it seems like our thoughts choose us, however, that isn't the case.  We choose what we think about, and research shows that optimists (those who choose positive thoughts) lead happier, healthier, longer lives than pessimists.  To lead a more joyful life, aim to see the good in others, look for things to appreciate, and imagine your life growing better and better.  In short, make an effort to see the glass as half-full—the more you practice viewing things from this perspective, the more joy you'll experience.

Reinvent Yourself At Any Age

Have you ever fervently wished your life was different, but then told yourself all of the reasons you could never change it?  Maybe you thought you were too old, not talented enough, or you weren't even sure where to begin.  If this sounds like you, read on to get some real-world suggestions that will start you on the path to a new you:

  • Think Long-Term.  All too often, people tell themselves they're “too old” to make changes.  However, consider the fact that today, it's not uncommon for people to live well into their 80s and 90s.  Rather than allowing your age to prevent you from making changes, start imagining how much better the next 30, 40, or 50+ years of your life could look if you begin today.

  • Envision Your Dream Life.  If you're not certain where to begin, we suggest you start by envisioning what your dream life looks like...what hobbies do you engage in?  What condition is your body in?  How do you earn a living?  What do you do when you first wake up?  Imagine what your dream life would look like and write down your ideal day on paper.

  • Take Steps.  Once you've identified what your dream life would look like, write down what steps you would need to take to have it.  For instance, would you need to go back to school?  Hit the gym more often?  Determine what action steps you could take to help you achieve your goals and then, make plans to tackle them.

  • Be Willing to Take Risks.  Sometimes we become paralyzed by fear, imagining all of the things that could go wrong if we start down a new path.  However, evidence suggests that risk-taking is far more likely to yield positive results.  Rather than allowing fear to hold you back, instead remind yourself often of the benefits you'll derive from reinventing yourself.   

3 Ways Meditation Can Help Your Career

When you imagine moving up the corporate ladder, you probably envision yourself working harder, faster, and smarter.  While that may be true, you'd probably be surprised to discover that a meditation practice can give you an edge.

Research shows that meditation offers a number of benefits that can improve on-the-job performance.  Specifically, meditation has been shown to:

  1. Improve Your Focus.  According to research, our minds wander about 50% of the time.  Think about how much more productive you could be if you were able to maintain your focus and devote 100% of your attention to any given task.  With meditation, you can.  Studies show that meditation not only boosts our ability to concentrate but it also improves memory.

  2. Strengthen Creativity.  As an executive, you're probably confronted with new business problems on a regular basis.  When these types of challenges occur, it's important to be able to devise creative solutions.  This is where divergent thinking comes in.  Divergent thinking refers to our ability to think of a number of possible solutions to a given problem.

    Meditation has been shown to strengthen this skill.  For instance, in one study, participants were told to engage in open monitoring meditation, a form of meditation where the practitioner becomes aware of thoughts and feelings but observes them with detachment.  After engaging in this type of meditation, the study participants performed better at a divergent thinking task.

  3. Reduce Stress & Anxiety.  The higher you rise up the corporate ladder, the more stressful your job tends to be.  However, by developing a meditation practice, you'll be better able to handle the stress and anxiety that often causes people to burn out.  Research shows that meditators produce less cortisol, the hormone associated with stress.  They also experience lower levels of anxiety and fatigue.  

— 5 Items per Page
Showing 1 - 5 of 17 results.