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The People Dividend Podcast

Dec 19, 2023

Embracing an inclusive approach to innovation at all levels can be a game-changer for businesses. In this engaging episode of the Authentic Change Podcast, host Mike Horne is joined by Jim Verquist, an expert in business innovation and people performance, to tackle this question. Jim brings a wealth of experience from his time in Silicon Valley startups and major corporations, offering a unique perspective on the varying cultures and approaches to innovation.

Throughout their conversation, Mike and Jim challenge common misconceptions about innovation. They suggest a significant mindset shift is needed: innovation shouldn't be seen as a function limited to a specific team, but rather as a mindset that all employees can adopt. They also discuss how often the most impactful ideas can emerge from the most unexpected places, underlining the role of serendipity in the process of innovation.

So what role do managers have in nurturing an innovative environment? Jim highlights the importance of creating a space where employees can experiment and bring their ideas to life, even as they handle their regular tasks. He stresses that treating team members with respect and support, and giving them the freedom to be proactive, is vital. Jim suggests that managers should encourage employees to be both innovators and, at times, corporate rebels. He believes that everyone has the desire to make a meaningful impact and that empowering employees to act on their ideas can unlock immense talent and energy, propelling innovation within the organization.

This engaging conversation offers practical insights into the essence of innovation, the pivotal role of management in fostering it, and the importance of cultivating a workplace culture that actively supports and encourages creative thinking. It's a look into how organizations can unlock their employees' potential to drive growth and adapt to the dynamic business world.



  • "Innovation tends to be thought of as something different. In fact, in a lot of circles, it's almost a bad word." (05:02 | Jim Verquist)

  • "Breakthroughs are things that take people by surprise. They're ideas that everybody hates until they work." (07:11 | Jim Verquist) 

  • "Every human being wants to make a difference in the world. We want to work on something that's bigger than ourselves." (23:46 | Jim Verquist)

  • "Your employees want to be corporate rebels. They want to be innovators. They want to make a difference in the world. So let them." (28:49 | Jim Verquist)



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