Innovation is one of those words that can take on so many meanings to almost become meaningless. We are going to give it meaning by using an image.
Here we have a basic triangle. On the top we have thinking. In the middle we have emotion. At the base we have the body, which better said is the place for physiology and the nervous system.
For many years as the industrial economy was growing the emphasis in business and organizational life was to train people how to think better and smarter. Knowledge was prized. Beginning a few decades ago it started to make sense to train people around not only their mental intelligence but their emotional intelligence as well. It became important to build a rich culture comprised of people with strong emotional intelligence skills; the notion here is that valuable ideas come from emotionally mature people.
But as we look at our triangle, it is clear that there is a basis beneath both emotional intelligence and mental intelligence – the intelligence of the body. Skill acquisition – the key to success, resiliency and growth – begins in physiology.
Here’s the math. Innovation comes from ideas of the highest quality. Ideas represent bundles of thoughts. Beneath thoughts are emotions, and beneath emotions is the body. The basis for creative intelligence comes from the body.
In the old days, organizations trained people’s brains. Recently, emotions were added to the equation. Now, if you want innovation of the highest quality, innovation capable of mastering the massive complexity and acceleration of the world, you train the mind, the emotions and the body simultaneously.
That’s what we do.