The Surprising ‘Love Your Weird’ Approach to Innovation |

The Surprising 'Love Your Weird' Approach to Innovation |

In the complex realm of business, a resounding mantra is taking root: “love your weird.” Behind this phrase lies the transformative idea of channeling your inner child–a source of untamed authenticity, boundless imagination, and uninhibited collaboration. As statistics and trends suggest, these childlike qualities might just be the secret ingredients for fostering an organizational culture bursting with innovation.

Children’s raw, unfiltered nature offers a lens of pure authenticity. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, unabashedly expressing their joys, disappointments, and curiosities. For organizations, this level of authenticity can be revolutionary. The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed a concerning statistic: 83 percent of employees harbor fears of job loss due to factors like the gig economy and foreign competition.

By fostering an environment where employees can unapologetically be themselves, leaders not only address these fears but also lay the foundation for trust and open communication. Authentic leadership, inspired by the uninhibited nature of our younger selves, sets a tone that resonates throughout the organization, inspiring genuine innovation from a place of trust and security.

Children view the world with wide-eyed wonder, a place where dragons coexist with robots and magic is just another law of nature. This imaginative spirit is a goldmine for businesses. A 2017 PwC report drives this point home, revealing that 77 percent of CEOs consider the lack of creativity a significant business threat.

Organizations that channel this childlike imagination, encouraging their teams to dream without boundaries, position themselves at the forefront of innovation. When employees are empowered to think beyond the confines of the “usual,” the results are often groundbreaking solutions that set industry trends rather than just following them.

Children naturally gravitate towards collaboration, whether it’s building intricate sandcastles or weaving fantastical tales with their peers. For businesses, this instinctive spirit of collaboration holds profound implications. Research from the Institute for Corporate Productivity unveiled that companies emphasizing collaborative work are at least five times more likely to be high-performing. Moreover, a Salesforce survey indicates that a lack of collaboration is a primary culprit behind workplace failures, with 86 percent of employees and executives citing it as a significant issue. By embracing the uninhibited, collaborative spirit innate to children, businesses can foster a culture where diverse perspectives merge, leading to innovative solutions no single individual could have conceived.

By intertwining these childlike qualities with modern business strategies, “love your weird” emerges as more than a catchy slogan–it’s a blueprint for success. Authenticity, inspired by the unfiltered expressions of children, builds trust. Imagination, reminiscent of a child’s unbridled creativity, fuels groundbreaking ideas. And collaboration, mirroring the natural teamwork of children at play, ensures these ideas are refined and brought to fruition.

The statistics speak for themselves. Embracing the child within offers a treasure trove of benefits, unlocking a culture that’s not only ripe for innovation but also positions organizations at the pinnacle of their industries. In a rapidly evolving business landscape, perhaps the keys to future breakthroughs lie in the simple, yet profound qualities of our younger selves. After all, in the words of Pablo Picasso, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Let “love your weird” be the guiding light in this journey.