Change leads to innovation
Communication, listening are key to companies’ adaptations

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Aug. 26, 2015

 Waukesha County Board Chairman and Maverick Innovation Lab co-founder Paul Decker addresses the Waukesha County Business Alliance Young Professionals group Tuesday on the topic of “The Human Need for Change.”   
Katherine Michalets/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA - Without humans adapting to change, there would be no innovation. Waukesha County Chairman and Maverick Innovation Lab co-founder Paul Decker addressed the Waukesha County Business Alliance Young Professionals group Tuesday on the topic of “The Human Need for Change.”

He said it is humans’ ability to adapt and change that has led to advancement - and without that ability, humans would not exist. The same can be applied to businesses, he said, emphasizing ways that people can handle change at work and create innovation.

Communication in a workplace is key when it comes to change. “Communication means you are in it as a team,” Decker said.

It’s important to ask co-workers and employees how they feel about the pending change and then listen to the response, he said.

“Our ability to adapt depends on how well we communicate with each other,” he said.

Obstruction can be beneficial in life, Decker said, because it can lead to  developing resilience. A person’s resilience can then make an organization or society better.

In fact, Decker said when a person is stressed, he is in a better position to adapt, and a resilient person will ultimately be a better colleague.

“It’s all about attitude. What changes are you going to overcome?” Decker said.

Decker encouraged the Young Professionals group Tuesday to think about what they could do by the end of this week to create change in their workplace equivalent to inventing the wheel. He said as young professionals, they can help change their organizations, especially regarding technology.

One of the biggest hurdles for companies when addressing change and creating innovation is the “we have always done it this way before” mentality, Decker noted.

“A lot of people don’t think of it as a positive,” Decker said of change.

During the luncheon Tuesday, Decker shared his experience of being diagnosed with cancer at age 45. Surgery resulted in Decker losing a lung and lymphoids and the doctor telling him he might not even survive the surgery, let alone the night post-operation.

“The human ability to adapt is marvelous if we allow it to happen,” he said.

A person cannot lead without a vision, which is based on what the person has experienced and the adaptions he or she has made through the years, Decker noted.

“In my little way, I can make something good happen today, tomorrow,” he told the filled room.

www.maverick-lab.com

http://waukesha.org
 

Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com