Your thriving culture of innovation is at the intersection of connectioncommunication, and creativity. “What does connection have to do with it?” you ask. Read on… 

A year ago, when the email landed in my inbox inviting me to attend the 2023 Annual Celebration of Leaders, my city’s gala to celebrate the outstanding individuals and organizations who have made exceptional contributions and service to the community, I debated about attending.

Although people think, because I’m a performer, that I’m a gregarious extrovert, in truth I’m much more of an introvert.

And more to the point, big social gatherings where I don’t know anyone brings out my inner seventh-grader.

I can play the part pretty well — do the small talk, chat with strangers — but it’s a heavy lift for me, and trying to break into a circle to join a conversation can feel almost physically painful.

I ultimately decided to register to go to the gala last year, because as a newly minted member of the Chamber of Commerce, getting ready to start the city’s Leadership Mountain View (LMV) program in the fall, I felt like I should. And while the event was beautifully produced, and I had some good conversations, the evening for me felt more like “Whew, I got through that,” than “Yay! That was fun!”

Cut to a year later.

When the same email landed in my inbox for the 2024 gala, not only did I register to attend, I booked a table for ten, and recruited members of my LMV class to fill the rest of the seats.

When I showed up this year, I immediately saw people I knew while waiting in line to get my name tag. Fun conversation, smiles, and laughter ensued.

Because I now knew so many people, thanks to LMV (classmates, speakers) plus Chamber of Commerce events over the past year, the cocktail hour felt easy and fun, rather than a mass of seventh grader anxiety about who do I try to talk to next?

Even if I hadn’t ever previously spoken directly with someone, the small touchpoint I had with them — from seeing them speak at an LMV class session, for example — gave me an entry point to a conversation to deepen the connection.

The Difference Connection Makes

In the ballroom, sitting at our round table for ten this year, surrounded by my LMV friends, laughing, making jokes, chatting, I felt completely comfortable. I was struck by the contrast between last year’s gala experience, where I felt like I was carrying a thousand-pound backpack, and this year’s, where I just had fun.

The difference? Connection.

I was able to show up more fully purely because of the connections I’ve made over the past year. 

I was more connected to more people in the room, so I could be more myself. 

When I’m able to be more myself, I’m funnier, more creative, better able to communicate freely and fully.

I suspect it’s the same for you.

Because, in truth, it’s the same for all of us.

There’s a reason savvy leaders emphasize the importance of “team building” and “team development,” and it all starts with connection.

Better connections help foster better communication.

Better connections help foster psychological safety.

Better connections help enable a culture where people can engage in healthy conflict, which is so essential for creativity.

Better connections are part of a foundation that will help foster a culture of culture of thriving innovation.

Connection + Communication + Creativity. Your culture of thriving innovation lies at the intersection of all three.

When you’re ready to ignite innovation by improving connection, communication, creativity, or all three, book your complementary Impact Assessment Call and let’s chat about how I can help.


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