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Intro to AI Webinar

In the midst of all the horror and uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world, one thing was absolutely clear to everyone: Now is the time to take chances. 

Innovation skyrocketed, culture became a real focus, and individuals and their organizations were once again united through values. The ability to fail became so commonplace that accepting and learning from mistakes was all but expected.

In a previous interview with the American Alliance of Museums’ Director of Marketing and Communications Natanya Khashan on the impact of COVID-19, she mentioned her organization also used the pandemic as an opportunity to grow and branch into new methods of day-to-day operations.

“In this unprecedented time, many of us are experimenting with new ways to connect, stay engaged, and provide meaningful online experiences,” she said. “The reaction was overwhelmingly positive.”

So many stories like the one above can be heard shared on webinars, at conferences, and in conversations between friends and colleagues. The COVID-19 pandemic has truly brought about unprecedented innovation and change for organizations worldwide. 

So, why does it seem like innovation has slowed down?

That’s because innovation isn’t innovative anymore: it’s an expectation. 

Stefanie Reeves, Donté Shannon and Lakisha Ann Woods touched on this topic during  “Learning and leading beyond crisis: How to keep going and growing,” a panel discussion led by Sheri Sesay-Tuffour that discussed leadership lessons from 2020 and how to ensure those hard-won lessons stick with us for the future.

“We were confronted by changes such as budget cuts, canceled events, new technologies, leasing, remote work and employee engagement,” said Sesay-Tuffour. “But these challenges also presented the opportunities that brought about positive and innovative changes in how we lead and how we keep our associations moving forward.”

The way to keep our associations moving forward is clear: growth. Innovation isn’t as inspiring or rare as it once was because the pandemic showed how easy it can be to adapt and change. What was once seen as a big deal is now expected.

This focus on a growth mindset has made it seem as though innovation has stopped when the real answer is that innovation is the new normal. 

What now?

If your organization is one that really focuses on highlighting each instance of innovation in your office, this change may be negatively affecting the atmosphere and vibe within your organization. But that doesn’t have to be the case!

Just because innovation is so widely expected, that does not mean that the changes, growth or new ideas that come from it are any less valuable. Continue to offer praise or acknowledgment to staff members who are working hard and bringing new ideas to the table. 

Creating an incentive that highlights top-performing staffers is a great way to show employees and members that the innovation is still happening. 

Just because innovation is expected does not mean it is any less valuable.

Ashley Neal
Post by Ashley Neal
July 30, 2021
Ashley is a marketing and communications professional with expertise in sales conversion, copywriting, and social media.