Crisis precedes innovation

Just before innovation people feel, frustration, stress, even hopelessness.

For example, your company raised the performance bar while restricting resources.  The people “up stairs” don’t get it and you just know you’ll never succeed.  Frustration precedes innovation.

Demanding clients that challenge proposals, costing structures, or deliverables, create stressful innovative moments. Stress fuels innovation.

Relationships on the verge of disintegration, if they don’t dissolve, are ripe for innovation.  Relational intimacy blossoms on the other side of hopelessness.

Leaders recognize that frustration, stress,
even hopelessness precedes innovation.

If you feel the black abyss of crisis dragging you into the darkness, don’t run.  You could spit in your hands, tighten your belt, dig your feet in the starting blocks, and innovate. Or, you could embrace and then transform the dark.

Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”


Don’t solve every crisis. Learn to walk away.  Here’s one way to know when to step in or turn away.

Step into storms that stand between you and your mission and vision.  Turn away from the others.


How do you decide when to step into the crisis or walk away?

How can leaders innovate through crisis?