Hi Marilyn O’Hearne here, with a few minutes of Weekly Wisdom, today asking are you unlocking or limiting potential and innovation? Read on for five scorecard points.

Research tells us we spend more time talking with people who are like us. We know the damaging effects of that not only on profitability but also, related, on innovation. If everyone has the same perspective, innovation, so necessary in our fast-paced world where the next new thing is quickly outdated, is stifled. Whether you are a solopreneur or bigger organization leader, how do you keep your organization on the cutting edge?

I am bringing up a word some have a strong reaction to-networking. When you are networking for new business, board members, or talent, how are you stepping out of your usual box, unlocking potential and innovation in your organization?

For decades I have made it a goal to meet at least three new people at a networking event, rather than staying within a group of people I know. Strategically I identify organizations I want to work with and how to meet their decision makers for leadership development (or coaching & training).

1. My first step, however, is to do a self check and see if I might be unintentionally excluding people and organizations from my list due to unconscious bias. Cultural Intelligence (CQ) at work!

2. I want to continue to innovate and live up to my potential, so that includes seeking out millennials and other generations and cultural groups besides my own. Occasionally I will approach a group of all men and playfully ask if they mind if I integrate their group. Not only do I participate in different Chambers of Commerce, including Asian and Hispanic, I also visited the local Islamic Center and a predominately African American church recently.

Even if I did not have a few openings in my business, stepping out of my box can contribute to new ideas for programs and marketing approaches, for example.

Here are a few more questions from our scorecard to see how you may be limiting or expanding your potential:

4. What is your organization’s face to the world? Whose photos are on your website, media, and marketing materials? If everyone looks the same in your marketing materials, you may be unintentionally turning away different cultural groups, missing out on business and innovation, richness of experience and relationships.

What cultural identities are missing, within your organization, its leadership and clientele?

How might that be limiting your organization?

5. Even if you have a great mix (congratulations!), once you have achieved a diversity of cultural identities, how are they treated? Are they welcomed, included, promoted? How are you leveraging diversity of perspectives? Look for a future post on inclusion. Preview: Some organizations I am privileged to be working with as a leadership and team coach have developed an advocate approach to promotion and retention.

How are you scoring on this section of your bias scorecard, unlocking or limiting potential and innovation, with great impact on prosperity?*

Want more, including the quiz? go to www.breakingfreefrombias.com,

Stay tuned till next week, and continue the conversation through your comments here and on social media.

To our success-we are in this together!

Marilyn O’Hearne, MSW, MCC, LLC; CQ Master Certified Coach, International Coach Federation https://marilynoh.com/

Unlocking potential, prosperity and peace for leaders, coaches and their organizations through Leadership & Team Coaching, Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision
*Kaitlyn D’Onofrio, “Proof that Companies with More Women Executives Have Higher Profits,” DiversityInc., April 22, 2016.
Updated blog from April 26, 2018