Fostering Innovation by Greenhousing Ideas

How can you foster true innovation?

John Van Vleck, founder of The Green Room Collective, shares insights about the top ways to foster innovation -- starting with nurturing new ideas. John explains that by treating new concepts and ideas as you would care for new plants in a greenhouse, we give them room to grow and mature in a protected environment. Leaders must be the forerunners in their organizations when it comes to fostering protective environments where others feel safe and valued sharing their new ideas.

John tells a parable of a weed and a flower to demonstrate the importance of fostering innovation or "greenhousing" ideas. Learning to nurture ideas and collaborate is critical to building organizations where people feel comfortable taking positive risks and proposing transformative ideas.

Listen as John reveals how even small ideas can drive innovation in your organization. Watch this and other videos on innovation on Leadercast Now!
Hello, my name is John Van Vleck and I am the founder of the Green Room Collective which is a small group of like-minded individuals, whose mission it is to bridge the gap between the world of insight and the world of creativity. To help others, businesses, people solve their most difficult sticky problems.

So what is a greenhouse? A greenhouse is a place where ideas and thinking can happen, because when an idea comes out into the world or a new insight or a different way of thinking, it's fragile. It's not fully formed. It's like a baby out of the womb. It needs help, it needs nurturing, it needs some love. It needs some additional input from others. So greenhousing is a behavior. And the behavior is designed, in such that ideas are given permission and the room to grow in a fertile environment. So it's a critical behavior of leadership, but also in any kind of innovative setting, and for leadership, because you want your people coming up with new ways of doing things and thinking. And they want to, so if you create that environment, if you create the greenhouse, they are able to do that. So it's a very important behavior for leadership, for creativity, for innovation.

So, an example of greenhousing or a metaphor that we use very often, is I've got two seeds in my hands. And one seed is a weed and one seed is a flower. Tell the difference. Pick the weed or pick the flower. And you ask people that, and either they point or they say, "I don't know." But how would you find out? Well, you'd give it some sun, give it some water, you give it good Earth, some nutrients and you'd let it grow. And then one becomes the flower and one becomes the weed. At that point you know you can kill the weed and you keep going on with the flower and keep nurturing it and building it and making it stronger, giving it life. It's a great example of just a nice little metaphor for greenhousing and building of ideas.

John Van Vleck

What's missing in business? Humanity. Feel. Edge that leads to something new and unique. John Van Vleck is the founder of The Green Room Collective, working with organizations to help bring these values to organizational culture, team b...

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