Meta Change

We’re constantly amazed at innovations and inventions that improve our lives and show us possibilities we had never considered.

As coaches, it’s beholden on us to bring that creative spirit into our sessions. How do we do this?

What’s the Goal?

Extraordinary coaching and extraordinary results are within us. There are strategies for thinking within the lines; strategies for thinking outside the lines; and strategies for inventing the lines and getting rid of them.

Our clients want to experience something extraordinary. They want ‘things’ to change, and don’t always connect that the change must come from within them.

It’s the same with coaches. We want something extraordinary to happen. We want ‘things’ to change. We don’t always connect that the change must come from within us.

So the goal, then, is not to get better results, but become more creative and innovative and resourceful about how they can be achieved. It becomes a journey within us of developing our insights, our perception, and our interpretation of the world around us, to come up with new and previously unconsidered choices.

How Do You Become Innovative?

I get asked this question all the time. I don’t love the question, but I do love it when people love exploring the answer.

The moment the question is asked, innovation is lost. The question itself is the problem. It implies that there is an answer to this question that will work. There is an answer. In this moment. And in this moment. And in this moment.

Each moment has a new answer. Creativity and innovation is not a destination. It’s a journey. It’s an unfolding.

And already some people are moving onto other articles, because this is non-specific and ambiguous and everything many people just don’t dig.

Innovative thinking is not seeing what is and trying to improve it, or ‘fix’ it.

Innovative thinking is seeing what is and asking questions that are not about it.

For example:

  • What is this not solving?
  • What is this causing that we don’t want?
  • If we didn’t have this, what would we have instead?
  • If this had never been considered, what would have happened, instead?

These questions are starting to be innovative, but they’re not really getting us there.

True innovative thinking is more like this:

What if this reality didn’t exist?

That’s the ultimate creative question. It’s to deny current reality and all of its parameters and come up with – really – an alternative universe.

Questions that back this up include:

  • What’s never been done?
  • What are other industries doing that we can look at for inspiration?


How to Guarantee this Won’t Work...

It’s easy to mess this up. All you have to do is worry about this not working. Just get uptight about mistakes, and none of these questions will get any time for the answer.

The question will be asked, and the answer will be choked out with fear. The answer will be ‘I don’t know’, and ‘I don’t know how to do this’, because it’s going so far into the unknown.

Yep, that dreaded place of The Great Unknown. This is the real challenge with developing creativity. It gets choked with the fear of The Great Unknown.

Take a Leaf from the Book of Kids

Notice how kids (until adults who know better get into their heads), are able to create and mess up and not even notice?

If we can take a leaf out of the Book of Kids, we’re going to be on the way to becoming (once again) creative. It’s in us, buried under layers of ‘I’m a grown up’.

I am waaay more childlike than many people appreciate. I am irreverent, curious and opinionated. Just like uncensored kids. I’m also noticing the imagination and paying attention to it. Just like kids.

Adults want to get it right. This has nothing to do with innovation.

It has nothing to do with creating an extraordinary experience for ourselves or our clients. I would go further and say they are polar opposites. Yet time and again I hear adults worrying about how to approach something that’s unfamiliar to them because they may ‘get it wrong’.

Kids aren’t thinking that way until about the age of seven and above. In fact there’s some cool studies that show how the education system kills pretty well all creative thinking by high school.

So underdoing the efforts of your education is the goal!

Our school, The Coaching Institute, is big on creativity, making mistakes and continuing on. It’s not always appreciated by people who come from the World of Adults. But we’ve been doing this for long enough to see the results. And we like the results we’re getting way more than the adults are getting.