At Vestalia Hospitality, one of our core values is creativity.  We exercise it daily by crafting craveable food and cocktails, shaping memorable dining experiences, and sustaining engaging environments for our guests and teams.  Creativity extends to much more than that; it is at the heart of how we interact with one another, develop individuals on our teams, turn conflict into opportunity for growth, and collaborate to solve problems or make possibilities that could bring success to life.  It also drives our passion for innovation. It is not in our nature to stop at what’s expected, we are constantly and consistently improving on our systems, processes, expectations, and culture.  

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Ann Kim’s innovative Korean BBQ pizza. Image by Eliesa Johnson of The Restaurant Project.

Innovation has been a darling buzzword of the business & tech worlds for many years now.  There are countless definitions and strategic theories published about “innovation;” the articles What is Innovation and Types of Innovation are useful examples of them.  My favorite take on innovation says that it happens when disparate ideas are fused together to form something new or improve on something that is established.  Innovation in this sense is broad, it shares a lot with the nature of discovery.  

“Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.”
Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi 

It is my favorite understanding of innovation because:

  • It grants all of us, regardless of talent and power, the ability to innovate and contribute positively to our lives, our work, our world in big and small ways 
  • It encourages diversity of thought, experience, and perspective
  • It challenges us to pay attention so we can weave our intellect and emotions together in unique ways
  • It coaxes us out of the comfort of the status quo, turning the stagnant “we’ve always done it this way” motto into “how will we do this better?”

The following video offers a fantastic summary of the concept of innovation, along with a great reminder that no idea is too small – “What you see is valid and necessary if the world is to move forward.”

This month on the blog we’ll be exploring innovation from different angles.  Want to dive deeper today? Check out the “Side Dish” links below, and bring innovation into focus in your own life by pondering your answers to these questions:

What is your definition of innovation?

What did you or your team innovate in the past year?

Where are your best opportunities for innovation presently?

How do you and your team create and innovate? 

Side Dish

Sometimes the main course just isn’t enough – find links here to content that rounds out the themes explored in this week’s article.

Video – 18 minute duration

Everything is Connected – Here’s How 

In his widely-viewed TEDx Talk, astrophysical-researcher-turned-entrepreneur Tom Chi takes us on a captivating journey that ties each of us together through the collision of galaxies, the existence of an ancient organism, and the invention of the piano. Woven throughout are thought-provoking and inspiring themes of creativity, innovation, and change through evolution. His stories illustrate that everything is indeed connected, and remind us of the unique opportunity we all have to make impactful contributions to life as we know it and for lives to come.  

Blog Post – 7 minute read

How to Foster Innovation and Creativity in the Workplace

Want some ideas on innovation that are concise and actionable?  This blog post from the time-tracking app Toggl is chock full of great info, tips, and practices that will increase innovation, empowerment, psychological safety, engagement, and productivity on your teams.  What more could you ask for?  

The post is broken up into the following 7 sections, read them all at once or as you see fit:

    • Why You Should Promote Innovation in the Workplace
    • Examples of Fostering Innovation in the Workplace
    • Peter Drucker’s 7 Sources of Innovation
    • Quick Tips for Creativity in the Workplace
    • Supporting Creativity with Expertise
    • Supporting Creativity with Flexibility
    • Inspiring Innovation

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