Steve Jobs proved that surprising the market again and again with exciting unexpected solutions results in incredible business, customer, and profitable outcomes. He achieved these outcomes despite increases in global competition, a roller-coaster economy, and quickening product life-cycles. In fact, he created one of the most admired and innovative companies in the world, by having the grit, gumption, and ability to be, think and act differently. As a result, he made a huge difference in the world of technology, business, and innovation, which is still admired and revered today.

Being the disruptive change – be, think and act differently 

He established Apple as the source and leader of catalyzing the creative energy to effect disruptive change.  Being the disruptive change in an industry or a market is exactly the sort of thing that new start-ups and business entrepreneurs are best at. This is because they disrupt the status quo by having the grit, gumption, and ability to be, think, talk, and act differently.

They do this in ways that deviate from the norm, that challenge processes, the status quo, and convention. They are impassioned to take bold and courageous risks that disrupt mindsets, perspectives, habits, and paradigms to create collisions that result in explosions of creativity that lead to the discovery of innovative ideas and solutions. Sounds very inspiring and exciting, however, many consultants and coaches often miss out on taking the first critical step to achieve this!

Creating the intrinsic motivation for innovation

 “Despite the fact that company executives call innovation one of their highest priorities, cultivating innovation is not a top goal when it comes to managing the workforce, a recent survey reveals. What’s more, 4 in 10 organizations see themselves as ineffective at fostering innovation, and there’s a mismatch between what companies are doing to promote inventiveness and what they say is effective.”

As innovation practitioners, one of the key success factors in consulting or coaching for innovation is being able to artfully facilitate and clarify an entrepreneur or your client’s intrinsic motivation.

This is a unique recipe that articulates a distinct possibility or a deep need or ‘necessity’ for innovation.

The intention is to create a sense of urgency to take the necessary steps and actions required to stay in the Discovery, Design, and Delivery phases of the Innovation Game. Without this being clearly defined upfront, it is unlikely that clients will sustain their passion, courage, and resilience to overcome many of the challenges and obstacles they will encounter in the Innovation Game.

These will typically occur unexpectedly and surprisingly as a result of the “emotional, visceral and cognitive roller-coaster” that arise in every innovation learning and execution journey.

Facilitating for intrinsic motivation in practice

Here are some key generative questions to experiment with to facilitate this process; the questions in italics are introduced during a facilitative or coaching process to disrupt habitual perspectives, thinking patterns, and processes in safe ways. By experimenting with these questions you can create a threshold and an opening for affecting a ‘mindset flip’ which then raises your clients’ level of thinking differently at the generative level:

  1. Why is it important for you and your organisation to be more innovative?
  2.  How will being innovative benefit your business? How could it enable your business to become more competitive, increase its growth or business value?
  3. What could be possible for your organization if you were able to transform these benefits/points into an innovative vision?

  • What do you believe about …?
  • What causes you to believe that?
  • What if you were to think differently about that?

  1. For this to happen what could your organization start letting go of that isn’t essential to your possibility?

This is an extremely powerful and emergent exercise requiring the consultant, or coach to have deep leadership or coaching presence, to be artful and skillful in generative inquiry, and in listening from the ‘whole’.

What intrinsic motivation triggers

It catalyzes a mindset flip and builds a solid foundation from which an innovation learning and execution journey can be facilitated and implemented.

Once you have created this unique and meta-level “necessity’’ your focus is towards enabling your client and their organization to develop their capability to disrupt the status quo by courageously being and thinking differently, as well as talking and acting differently.

You may then be able to help co-create the innovative organisation, culture, or business eco-system you helped your client start to envision.

Imagine if you could make innovation everyone’s job; to focus every day on building highly engaged, courageous, experimental, emergent, and passionate organizational cultures and business eco-systems, by having the grit, gumption, and ability to be, think and act differently.

Imagine how adaptive, creative and inspiring our workplaces could become, and how we could all make a difference and contribute to making the corporate world a much better and happier more fulfilling place!

At ImagineNation™ we provide innovation and leadership coaching, learning, and culture consulting to help businesses achieve their innovation goals. Because we have done most of the learning and actioning of new hybrid mindsets, behaviors, and skill-sets already, we can help your businesses also do this by opening people up to their innovation potential.

Contact us now at to find out how we can partner with you to learn, adapt, and grow your business in the digital age.