On 2 September 2015, the Swiss bi-weekly financial magazine Bilan has published the article “L’innovation est à la portée de tous” (Innovation is for everyone) written by Annick Noirfalisse and based on an interview with Cristina and Maureen as co-authors of Coaching for Innovation. The article highlights the four steps anyone can take to foster innovation:
- Demystify innovation for yourself and others.
- Become aware of the fact that innovators have certain behaviours in common that you can practise and strengthen in yourself.
- Understand what it means to step into a coaching role and the subsequent impact this has on driving innovation.
- Strengthen your questioning and listening skills and apply them to regular coaching conversations at each step of the innovation process.
Maureen and Cristina emphasise that you do not need to be either a born innovator or a professional coach to use coaching to drive innovation. You need the right attitude, behaviours, skill set and a ready supply of tested and practical coaching models. Coaching opens the door to creativity, fosters great work and leads to the kind of bigger thinking that is essential for innovation. During challenging times, fostering a culture of idea generation and going beyond the obvious is not just a choice, it is a must. Coaching can be used as the trigger to tap into the hidden creative potential of people, teams and even yourself because of the multiple options that are generated. The article also covers the co-authors’ opinion on Switzerland and its attitude toward innovation. They say: “We don’t think that Switzerland is resting on its laurels in terms of innovation and creativity. On the contrary, we think this country is more active than ever in its search and drive for innovation. Among our Swiss based clients, we perceive a high level of awareness that Swiss made is not enough anymore. Excellent quality can be easily found outside of Switzerland and at a much cheaper price. There is no complacency about the success they have had so far, only a sense of purpose in continuing to find new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition”.