Innovation Coaching
Innovation Coaching Workbook


"Innovation Coaching" is a resource for innovators and entrepreneurs offering no-nonsense, practical advice to help empower you to maintain your mental health while navigating the often-challenging process of innovating within an organization or as an entrepreneur.

This volume covers the journey towards achieving innovation while protecting your mental health and maintaining a balanced life. Healthy minds mean healthy profits. If you look after your people, achievements and money will inevitably follow.

The expectation to innovate is placed on the shoulders of entrepreneurs and innovators, and it's a pressure they probably weren't anticipating. They went out into the market, found a good idea, raised the capital, and thought, "Fantastic, I've got my money," but what they didn't realize is that this is only the start of their dilemmas. With the investment, managing someone else's money becomes a significant responsibility, along with the pressure this brings.

Innovation is a tricky business, not for the faint of heart. It requires resilience, persistence, tenacity, and inner strength because an innovator swims against the current and disrupts. Humans have a natural tendency to flock toward the familiar, the well understood, and the proven paths to achieving an objective. Innovation turns that upside down, and we enter the realm of failure. Anything that humans create that is groundbreaking, new, transformational, and innovative is, by definition, risky, uncertain, unproven, and carries a significant risk of failure.

The word 'innovation' has been applied frequently in a broad range of contexts, often without a clear understanding of what it is and how leadership envisions it. Innovation is a more insidious word than you might think - a word that represents terrific things but can also evoke sensations of fatigue and anxiety. One of the critical challenges for organizations is knowing how to ensure their capacity for development isn't killed by 'innovation stress.'

Innovators and entrepreneurs don't just need financial resources; they need layers of support that help them maintain their physical and mental health. We need to create a much more supportive and nurturing investment community that invests in these essential support systems that play a vital role in the success of a new idea. The investor community needs to put people and profit on an equal footing.

Innovation Coaching Handbook

Table of Contents

  • Innovation Stress Syndrome
    • Innovation Stress Syndrome and PTSD
    • Inoculating Against Innovation Stress Syndrome
  • Innovation Paradoxes
    • The Innovation and Failure Paradox
    • The Entrepreneur’s Support Paradox
  • Building Up Resilience
  • Things Are changing for the Better
Section 1: Innovation
  • Introduction
  • What is Innovation?
    • The Innovation S-Curve
    • Sustaining and Disruptive Innovation
  • How Do You Innovate?
    • Incremental Improvements
    • Market Disruption
    • Reformulating and Rebooting Previous Successes
  • The Criticality of Innovation
  • The Challenges of Innovation
  • Synopsis
Section 2: Workplaces That Inhibit Innovation
  • Introduction
  • Innovation Inhibiting Factors
    • Workplace Power Dynamics
    • Abusive Workplaces
    • Toxic Workplaces
    • Toxic People
    • Toxic Behavior
    • Chronic Stress and Work-Life Balance
    • Innovation Stress and Trauma
    • Persistent Workplace Stress and Burnout
  • Characteristics of Innovation Inhibiting Workplaces
    • Employee Disengagement
    • Leadership Limitations
    • Culture hostile to innovation
    • Erosion of Trust
    • Lack of Entrepreneurial Skills
    • Structural Limitations
    • Organizations in Decline
    • No Room for Play and Exploration
    • Workplace Trauma Denial
  • Synopsis
Section 3: Workplaces That Facilitate Innovation
  • Introduction
  • Innovation Facilitating Factors
    • Flat Structure Minimizes Workplace Power Dynamics
    • Supportive and Empathetic Workplaces
    • Non-Toxic Workplaces
    • Non-Toxic People
    • Non-Toxic Behavior
    • Support Work-Life Balance
    • Awareness of Innovation Stress and Trauma
    • Zero Tolerance for Workplace Abuse and Trauma
    • Inoculate Against Burnout
  • Characteristics of Innovation Facilitating Workplaces
    • Employees Are Trusted and Valued
    • Employee Interactions Are Happy and Engaging
    • Everybody Understands What the Organization Does and Why
    • Jobs are Built Around Projects and Initiatives Not Tasks
    • Job Descriptions Focus on Challenges Not Requirements
    • Failure is Embraced
    • Metrics Will be Primarily Qualitative Rather than Quantitative
    • There Are Few Bureaucratic Processes
    • Hiring and Promotions Are Based on Competence, Not Politics
    • Workers Can Say What They Want without Fear of Retribution
  • Synopsis
Section 4: Innovation and Mental Health
  • Introduction
  • Personality, Innovation, and Mental Health
    • Personality Traits Facilitating Innovation
    • Personality Traits that Inhibit Innovation
  • Innovation Stressors
    • Challenging the Status Quo
    • Receiving Rejection
    • Receiving Skepticism
    • Social Isolation
    • Fear of “Career Limiting Moves”
    • Fear of Job Loss
  • The Mental Health Impacts of Innovation Stressors
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Burnout
  • The Mental Health Benefits of Creativity and Innovation
    • The Joy of Creativity
  • The Brain, Creativity, and Innovation
  • Synopsis
Section 6: Getting Support
  • Introduction
  • Be Your Self-Advocate
  • Recovery Professionals
    • The Broad Categories of Counselors
    • The Broad Categories of Psychotherapists
    • Career Counsellors
    • Life Coaches
    • Social Workers
    • Psychologists
    • Psychiatrists
  • Finding Professional Support
    • Step 1: Think About the Support You’re Looking For
    • Step 2: Gather Referrals
    • Step 3: Scheduling Your First Meeting
    • Step 4: Ask Questions
    • Step 5: Build a Professional Working Relationship
  • Synopsis

Section 7: Maintaining Your Mental Health
  • Introduction
  • Building and Maintaining Your Network
  • Healthy Coping
  • Monitoring for Signs of Potential Relapse
  • Managing Setbacks with Compassion
  • Synopsis
Section 8: When You Need to Move On
  • Introduction
  • Managing a Forced Employment Transition
  • Grieving 
  • Workplace Grief Denial
  • Workplace Trauma Denial
  • Mourning
  • Letting Go
  • Moving Forward
  • Finding a Healthy Workplace
  • Moving Forward

Final Thoughts
  • Introduction
  • Synopsis

Innovation Coaching Workbook

Table of Contents


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Section 1: Innovation

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Section 8: Getting Support

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Final Thoughts

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