Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

How Leaders Can Encourage Creativity And Innovation


In today’s increasingly competitive, global market, it’s understandable why so many leaders are trying to figure out how to foster innovation in their organizations. So how is it that some organizations seem to thrive on the cutting edge while others can barely get their innovative initiatives off the ground? That’s the focus of my discussion with one of the world’s top experts on innovation and creativity, Matthew E. May.

Matt is a popular speaker, creativity coach, and advisor who has worked with management teams from companies like ADP, Intuit, Edmunds, and Toyota, to help them discover innovative solutions to complex issues. He is also the founder of Edit Innovation, an ideas agency based in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to his speaking and consulting work on creativity and innovation, Matt has written and has had his work featured in many respected publications such as Harvard Business Review, University of Toronto’s The Rotman Magazine, Fast Company, Thinkers50, TIME, Inc Magazine, strategy+business, Forbes, MIT/Sloan Management Review and American Express OPEN Forum.

Matt is also the author of four critically acclaimed, award-winning and bestselling books on creativity and innovation, including his latest book, “The Laws Of Subtraction: 6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything”.

In this 14th episode of my show, Matt shares his insights into how we can tap into our organization’s collective creativity and drive innovation initiatives – including a fun, little exercise whose answer even had me surprised at its simplicity and elegance; you definitely want to check this out and even try it with your team and organization.

In addition to this insightful exercise, some of the other ideas and insights Matt and I discuss in our conversation include:

  • The story of a multinational’s attempt to sell its soap product in India and what their experience reveals as a key foundation stone to any innovation initiative.
  • The common misunderstanding we have about ‘thinking outside the box’ that impairs our ability to foster creativity in our organization.
  • The kind of constraints that research has shown fuels organizational creativity and innovation, and the two elements leaders need to articulate to help their employees overcome the obstacles they face.
  • What a new treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can teach us about how we can rewire our brains to embrace change in order to enable innovation in our organization.
  • What we need to do to facilitate more ‘a-ha!’ moments of creativity and discovery that are the key to our ability to innovate.

I do hope you’ll check out this insightful and entertaining discussion on creativity, neuroscience, and innovation. And as I mentioned at the end of the show, I’d love to hear what you think about this episode, as well as what other topics you’d be interested in hearing more about in upcoming episodes of my show. You can share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment below or by filling out the contact form on my website.

Also, as this show is starting to get traction now on iTunes, I’d appreciate it if you could rate my show to help support this effort.

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast:

[Running time: 47 minutes]

Noteworthy links:

  • Buy Matthew E. May’s book “The Laws of Subtraction” on Amazon.com (or Amazon.ca for Canadian readers).
  • Learn more about Doug’s work and his company Edit Innovation at matthewemay.com.

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