The secret to innovation

It comes down to one word.  Trust.

Trust is the key when it comes to innovating.  That may sound simple, but it's not easy. Trust means letting go. It means putting your success and even your reputation in the hands of your teammates. That takes guts. But the rewards can be great.  Because when you're working with talented people, you unlock imagination and passion when you give those people your trust.

Early in my career, I was faced with a tough situation working with a teammate who had not demonstrated that he was someone who should be trusted. But the only way we were going to innovate was if we trusted each other. So I sucked it up and I trusted. It was nerve-wracking. I felt like I was putting myself, my reputation, and my future at the mercy of someone I wasn't sure about. Scary stuff.

Then something amazing happened. All the trust I gave came back to me and then some.

Once we established trust, the big ideas flowed. Innovation came easy. In fact, it led to some of the best work of my career. Most of all, it made me a believer.

If you want to innovate, you have to have the guts to trust.