I was talking at the weekend with friends about the name of our company “Inspiring Partnerships” and the thinking behind our blogs. Nic and I both recognise how inspiration is important in our own lives – both personal and working – and we want to offer this through our services and blog posts. But what is inspiration?
I often stress to my children the importance of being positive: “see the glass as half full”, “appreciate how lucky you are”. However inspiration is more than a ‘can do’ attitude and optimism. Inspiration is reviving; it encourages us to take a chance and raises our confidence. It does make innovation and new actions more likely or at the very least asks us to consider new ways of doings things. Being inspired does not always mean we will do a new thing but I do think it means that we have thought about an issue with a fresh mind and explored some other options, feeling surer of the chosen path. If successful then inspiration should lead to more openness and greater commitment to the chosen goal.
Some people are inspirational – Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates – to name but three international examples. Those individuals had or have their own internal inspiration. For the rest of us, that flame may not be so strong but we can create the environment where inspiration is easier and becomes part of a leadership or management approach of a business, organisation or team. So how do we build this environment when we work with organisations?
The actions include:
- Leadership that demonstrates an open mind, a positive attitude and rewards success – little inspiration is apparent in a top down hierarchy
- Ensuring the vision and values emphasise creativity, innovation and positive thinking
- Empower staff and partners to develop ideas and explore new ways of working or delivering
- Share knowledge internally and externally to enable ideas to generate
- Make time available for creative and free thinking
It is not easy but I am sure that we would all agree that we are all more likely to be successful in an inspired working and family environment and it certainly supports self esteem and personal wellbeing.
There will be lots of personal examples of inspiration. We would love to hear what works for you and the most inspiring experiences you have had. Let’s inspire each other!