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workplace innovation
Show Notes

Harnessing Creativity and Innovation in the Workplace

Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.

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Starting the conversation:

Stop being boxed in by thinking and processing patterns. Thoughtful chaos is the way to increase creativity and innovation within your company. It requires slowing down, taking time to ensure clarity, being accountable, and having the courage to act. Jess Dewell hosts Scott Novis, the Chief Creative Officer at Bravous Esports, in a discussion about the importance of connection through technology to remain creative, while adapting to the obstacles we face.

How important are unplanned and unstructured activities with regard to being a creative and innovative company?

Host: Jess Dewell

Guests: Scott Novis

What You Will Hear:

Creativity craves chaos; creativity craves constraints.

Know what we want and then think about what can we do to get it?

Find as many answers as you can to come up with the desired outcome.

Design interactions, messages, and goals for success.

The problem with remote work, and how we can use technology differently to improve connection.

Take a deep breath and slow down.

Know what “accountable” looks like and actively talk about what each role is expected to do.

Remove shame to allow creativity to flourish.

It is BOLD to have unplanned and unstructured activities to create and innovate.

Transcript

ANNOUNCER 00:03
Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions that can travel, the one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today's program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Jess Dewell is your guide, Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place, your unique True North. Now, here's Jess.

Jess Dewell 00:52
How lucky are we today to be talking about creativity to be talking about the power and the importance of unplanned and unstructured activity? And how does technology fit into all of that? We think we know. But I don't know if we really know because that's what we're going to explore today with our VIP Scott. Scott has two engineering degrees, his 11 patents, and he launched the Mobile Video Game Party industry when he founded game truck in 2006. He is a relentless learner, a tinkerer and a why guy, not a wise guy. Well, maybe that too, but definitely the why guy. He's committed to helping people of all ages play together using video games. Scott Novus, thanks so much for being part of our show today.

Scott Novis 01:43
Oh, thank you for having me here. This is gonna be fun.

Jess Dewell 01:46
Good. How true was the Wiseguy?

Scott Novis 01:49
A little bit? You know, I get lucky. Yeah, I'll crack-wise. Um, but you know, I'm as likely to throw my balloon at you. So you've got to be you got to stay in your stay on your toes.

Jess Dewell 02:02
And you know what, as part of this unplanned, unstructured and creative, isn't it? It's where we have something is going to happen. And somebody is feeling really creative. But being able to recognize somebody else's creative, especially when it doesn't look like ours could be tough. Have you ever encountered that?

Scott Novis 02:21
Yeah, no, it's a you know, we used to say there are two things and they're both a paradox. One was a creativity craves chaos. So sometimes that creativity comes across get really knocked back in heels, you're like, What are you doing? But then the other one we'd say is creativity craves constraints. Because a lot of times when you're limited by things, that's when you have to get creative, you got to find other ways to solve the problem and think differently. So there's a little bit of I'm a big believer in the yin and the yang of things paradox is almost all it as a definition, a paradox always comes in a bundle. But if you look at things, they're almost always bundled, there's always an opposite, or and that you'll get a lot of that for me, too, is taking ideas and flip them. What does that look like the other way?

Jess Dewell 03:04
You know, I think you make a very good point. When we think about unstructured and unplanned we assume chaos. Yet what I heard you say that I know that's something that is instilled over the work that we do with our clients at Red Direction, and then I know you're instilling through the games is that constraints are powerful. Tell us a little bit more about that. When did you first realize that the bigger the constraint are, the stronger the commitment to a strength or a constraint? You actually were able to get farther faster?

Scott Novis 03:38
You know, when I was working in the game studio, or making video games, um, we were always limited. We never had all the resources we wanted. And what we had to choose like, well, what are we trying to achieve? And what can we do with it. And that ended up being like, this crazy amount of creativity came out of the, oh, we could do this with it, we could do that with it. And this might be way too technical for your listeners. But we made a jetski game. So like going along. And this is super cool. And one of the developers realized that we didn't have enough resources to really simulate water, water super tough like it is one of the most upper-end things you can possibly simulate, and especially to do it in a video game. Then he realized that he could take the limited resources of the computer and instead of it was really clever. It was a really clever idea. He said, Oh, instead of rendering fabric, well, if you take a big cloak and you shake it, it kind of looks like water, doesn't it? Because what if we put a water texture on it? And that started this whole process where we took this one piece of hardware was meant to do one thing and completely abused it creatively reused it we redeployed it to render water and it ended up looking gorgeous. It was absolutely fantastic. It was one of the best parts of the whole game and you know, it was that one limitation, it couldn't curl, the way that we're used to like a wave fully, but we could get ripples, we could get all the effects and it was on a PlayStation two, it was unheard of like, No, nothing like that. So very today, I think Apple Watch is more powerful than nothing was. But it was when you began to see that this is all I have to work with. And it's, it's open thinking, not close thinking, it's divergent thinking not convergent thinking and they're orthogonal, most schooling teaches you to converge and think get to the answer. Open thinking is, how many answers can you come up with? And a constraint will force you to do that? Because it'll stop you from getting to the one answer. So it'll push you around. And you got to find more answers.

Jess Dewell 05:50
Right? And that's, and that's, I can see why people are like this concept of chaos, and then all of this planning and all of this structure needs to occur because we can't have chaos. We just can't, for whatever reason, right? We lose. I love everybody. Everybody's reaction to that word is always interesting and surprising. And I'm like, well, don't you need a little bit, we need some postures and, and if we close things down too much, we don't not only do we miss the postures, we're not only we're going to get hit with two by fours here and there. What else is going to happen is we're going to end up running out of juice. And I think that that's the thing that we forget about in the fact that I like constraints, and we're probably going to come back there. Too much control is actually a showstopper. We fuel.

Scott Novis 06:43
I, yeah, I just read a quote from Adam Grant. That was like, stop using best practices. And I'm like, what? I'm working, you know, but I'm still trying to establish them. And it was like, Oh, yeah. Because there's a point where you calcify right, it becomes you, you lose the flexibility. And one, there's a game that I love to run with adults is one of my favorite ones. And it's a cooking game. And it's really simple. But the point is, we let everybody get good at it like, nobody's good. At the beginning, it really stinks. But it's simple. And the hard part is working together, then everything gets really good. Now, yeah, then I change like one thing, just one thing, and introduce one level of uncertainty like one this, they don't like, let me just show you what happens when stuff changes. And it punches you right in the ego, because all of a sudden, you're not good at it anymore. Like what happened to us. And it's like, that's the thing we have to deal with is life is always gonna hit you and certainly even successful do that to you. Hey, everybody loved what you did. So do twice as much of it. Oh,

Jess Dewell 07:53
you know, that's interesting, because not only did it take 30 years to get the overnight success, a lot of people who have success once are unable to repeat it, even though they follow the same formula. And you bring up a really good point. And having worked with worked in started several different companies. Do you find that to be true in your experience?

Scott Novis 08:17
100%, we were really good for the SAS company are really, really good at consumer, lead generation, like for video game parties. It's crazy. Like how many phone calls leads, like people love what we do. We're like, oh, we own this, let's help people in business. There's a pancake, it was so humbling, to like no web traffic and like no leads for weeks on end or like, what are we doing wrong? Like, we're like, we dominate this one space. And then we took all those skills over, we just thought, Oh, we got this. We own this. And we're like to eat some Humble Pie. You start all over again, of, you know, getting in front of really put yourself in the customers shoes, really understanding their story and how they see things and how they want to buy things. And it's a totally different. It. I don't know, I have to keep learning this lesson over and over again. But it's not about me.

Jess Dewell 09:11
Right? Well, it's hard, especially when you're making those best practices, especially when you recognize Oh, my gosh, we've been doing this thing. And somehow we ended up with some closed thinking. And I know that when, when a team is coming together, and I and you're designing this and the games that you make, so when you have a team coming together, and they have to figure out whether they work together regularly or not. They have to figure out how to work together for this objective. What are the what are some of the things that you put in the framework of that so that they can figure it out on their own in a creative and innovative way?

Scott Novis 09:50
Oh, great question. So I think one of the things that's essential is clarity, right? You've got to have it simple enough. You don't need a lot of variables. You want it so that everyone from their own perspective can come together and say, This is what we need to be doing. And it's fairly straightforward and simple. But you have to hit this balance or anyone, the ideal game to me is anyone can do any task. No one can do every task. So imagine moving your house was a good example where he's like, I know how to pick things up and move them everybody does. Now we're gonna move the couch. I'm not doing that by myself. So I got to talk to somebody to help me move the couch. And that's where the interesting conversations really begin. And that's where to your thing, like the magic, I've done a lot of research and how we make friendships, and unplanned unstructured conversations are the glue that, you know, connection flows on. And so we want to create opportunities for people to figure things out together. If they can go in, ignore each other and go do their own things, we failed. So we want to create interdependency. Like, oh, I can do my job better if you do your job. And we can help each other. But we're going to negotiate because maybe today you're cooking the rice and I'm chopping the salary. And tomorrow, it's reversed. But there's this openness of maximal like multi-pocket, there's, there's a psychology term, I can't remember it now. But it has to do with, there's many ways to get to this. And, and you know, real life is awesome because there's only many ways to get to the end, there's many ends. But when we go with a game, we, we go one end, but you got to get this done, like move the house, finish the dish. You know, remodel the room, whatever it is. And we tend to pick things that people can relate to John Lasseter had this amazing quote, I was really lucky when I worked in a video game industry, we got to do cars, the video game and be me because I'll ask everyone, if you ever get a chance to be me, you know, with anybody from Pixar do it, they're incredible. And it was he said, if you're gonna do something wild, make it out of a conventional fabric. If you've got a you know, wild fabric that makes something conventional, that give people something to hold on to. So when I go into games, I'm always trying to pick something grounded in reality, enough that people feel familiar, like, I'm assuming you eat, I eat, I know what food looks like, and I know how to make some of it. So it's not like I'm throwing you in the middle of some space battle. And you're like, I don't know what any of this is or how any of it works. It's like it's a kitchen, right? You know, pick up a knife and chop something that's people can grasp that. Keeping those other hurdles low. So we can focus on the one thing that matters, and that's each other. Like, why does the other people going to behave? What are they going to do? And making sure they can communicate? Like that's so super important. They have to be able, like these things are impossible to play without voice communication, and they're not even fun to try. You really need to be able to hear each other and talk to each other. Their communication games is what they really are.

Jess Dewell 13:03
What are they going to do? Isn't that interesting that we think about that I'm actually thinking about family games, right? We do. We have video games that we play online. But we also have family games that we play to and even, even games like Carcassonne on, right? Something super simple. But you can have so much fun, and there's some strategy. But if I had to do that, without seeing everybody else's faces, right, right, you to your point about negotiation to your point, and then hearing the words. And if people are lucky enough to be around me, I like talk and I don't realize I'm talking I talk to think and I'm auditory. So people get to hear me when they are when we're playing games like that. And I'm like, Wait, I got to say that one in my head. I've keep this close to the vest. Right. I think that's part of it with the cleric to the point of clarity. Step one of designing that interaction is what do I say? What's too much and what's not enough?

Scott Novis 14:05
You know, and it's, I think there's principles. And that's one of the things that so there's a couple things happening in the workforce today. What did somebody say yesterday was, he's having fun watching the millennials pick on the xennials. And it was sort of like Gen Z and millennials are like, it's interesting as they age. But what you're getting is a whole generation of workers have never really been on a team. And I'm not sure that I consider the work groups in school teams, like where everybody's really pulling their weight. Everybody is really contributing. Nobody's really counting on the other person. Like I can't finish my part. If you don't do yours. There's a little bit of that. But I you know, most people I talk to you like yeah, there were a couple of people that carried the weight. I gave a little bit or I carried the weight. Nobody gave anything. I mean, everybody's got a clearly defined role. We know what we're Gonna go do and we have to do it together, a lot of workers have not had that grounded experience and why I love games is that it's safe to fail because that's the piece we're skipping. If you're going to get into the chaos or get into creativity, you're going to get all these things. Is it okay to fail, you have to, that's the edge of where we learn right at the edge of our ability.

Jess Dewell 15:24
And one of the things I'll add to that, and I'm thinking about the, the leadership teams that are building new constraints, trying something different, moving the line and holding it for a certain behavior to occur within an organization to make these bigger shifts needed to be able to have this creativity and innovation. One of the things I noticed is the, the, the feeling that I have to tell all, and that is the worst thing that can happen. Because the more we tell, yeah, the more our constraints and our desired outcome disappear, they get mushy and, and then everybody's worried about all the other things that you said that they can't do anything about.

Scott Novis 16:11
I'm just laughing because I'm, I'm that I gotta tell you everything I know person, and it's taken me a long time to learn. I can't learn for you. Right. So just, you know, hitting fire hosing you with what I know isn't really going to help. And that's the other reason that I'm a fan of play. If I was teaching you a sport take-off, I never let you pick up the club. I just talked at you all afternoon. What do you know, what can you do?

Jess Dewell 16:40
That's right. And there's a difference between booksmart and not and streetsmart. And I think there's a reason that those words exist, right? We want some book knowledge, we want to absorb information without doing it yet, until we can go put it in practice until we can go out on the street and interact. Then what we don't know what actually sunk in, we don't have the experience because one of the things that I talked about Scott is your head brain, your heart, brain and your gut-brain. And what you have been talking about in relationship to design in all the three areas that you're creating a framework around, encourage everybody to get to touch all of those things. Oh, I got to make a decision right now. I don't know what this next this person is going to do. But I can't have I don't have time to think about it. It's time to add the celery or not. It's time to fluff the rice or not all the way to well, did that person need to know that I was going to do that five minutes from now.

Scott Novis 17:39
Right? Well, here's a good example. I love that the head brain, the heart brain, the gut-brain. So here's a thing, a game from Jackbox called bomb Corp. And you're defusing bombs, and each person in the game gets a piece of information. So somebody is going to cut wires. And each person gets one page that has instructions of what wires to cut one quarter. And guess what happens if you make a mistake? Yeah, bomb goes off, right? For, for how so many people feel at work. Like if I screw this up, it's all gonna blow up. And what I learned, like I love running people through that game because it's your gonna plan upfront, then you got to do so there's your gut. So you've used your head. But the last part that people skip that is that I try to help them with is talk about it. Like, go through what was going on like that piece of luck. You just fail together game always ends in failure always ends up with a bomb going up. But there's that opportunity like you did it together. So puzzle like that's the money is spending the time to go? How can we collectively be better learn from our mistakes and own what we just did? Think it's a video game. That's my favorite thing about video games a bit rather trivial. I'm like perfect. Your professional career is not at risk goes down at risk. Like nobody expects you to be good at it. But you can actually practice. And if you take that one last question going, what about this? Could we apply at work? That's the transition. That's when you can take it on field. Games can become a batting cage for how you can problem-solve. You get to practice having tough conversations in a really low-risk environment and build your skill up. Because important. Yeah, I feel like that's the parrot where if we want people to be creative, we are asking them to take risks. Yes, not asking them to gamble. But we're asking them to try something maybe they haven't done before to grow a little bit and then we've got to have mechanisms to catch them on the other side. If it when and if it doesn't work out because a lot of times it doesn't work out. We don't know we haven't done it before. But we'll learn things we do. We can often discover really valuable things on the other side we did not know before we started

Jess Dewell 19:59
so that bad boundary, that constraint, right? If I'm thinking about that, and I'm thinking about what you just said, one of the things that like bubbles up my experience goes, Oh, I am I tend to just try and make people feel safe by pushing out deadlines. Bad, bad, bad idea. Right? And I'm like, oh, shoot, look at that this is an important boundary, a deadline was set for a reason. Yep, we can move that deadline. If you feel like you're at risk. And I and so one of the things that that's something that I naturally do, and I'm just like, okay, stuff happens, okay, stuff happens. And then the stuff happening becomes the habit. And we've totally lost out what we need to do. This is, this is my lesson that I've got to learn over and over and over again. And we all have something like that. So those of you listening in to the Bold Business Podcast, right now, we're live streaming with Scott, novice, I have to tell you this, this is something that look in the mirror, find something what is the thing Scott shared one, I just scared? Shared one, what is the thing that kind of scares you to say Allow this habit that actually is impeding and potentially eroding the boundaries and the constraints that you're actually working within to get success? Or that you need to channel all of the energies to be able to have a place with which that unplanned chaos uncertainty can exist and still have a positive output? And it is, it's about risk, how do we de-escalate that risk? And I'm thinking about that, and feeling this? And I'm like, Well, what about all these people that are now working remote or more of a hybrid approach where there's some remote and some in person? You had mentioned earlier, Scott, that you were talking that you have to be able to see and hear each other while you're playing these games? Is that the key to this? Or is there even more?

Scott Novis 21:53
Well, there's a little bit more so. Okay, so one of the things. My hypothesis or my theory is that one reason zoom and video meetings are so draining. We don't know where to look, is that, like humans have whites of the eyes. And it's really important for each of us to know where we're looking, we're physically all in the same room, we're cueing off each other constantly. So you're talking, and everybody's head turns towards you. They're all subtle, you know, nonverbal affirmation, you're important. And you see everybody looking at, so you're getting the confirmation that you're important. We get the Zoom screen one, they're not all laid out the same. And then two, everybody's looking in different places. My cameras over here I'm bringing, you know, you're like, everybody's all over the place, our brain goes in overdrive going, What am I supposed to pay attention to. And so when we get into a video game, with the reasons I like it is, it focuses everybody on the same thing, we're all processing the same information at the same time. And so audio in a game, being able to hear each other is way more important than see each other because we should be looking at the game. And what we've learned in bonding is that synchronization of activities, is one of the ways humans bond. It's why eating is so powerful. One, it's positive, it gives us good feelings, but two, we're all doing it together. So we're synchronized, similar activity, having good feelings. And, you know, it's my food and alcohol were like the staples for, you know, a century in the United States, like, what do I get to get to get there, get and put alcohol, and then we'll be friends. What were we doing, obviously, was synchronized we're doing the same types of activity that were enjoyable, you know, forget the alcohol for a minute. But that was one of those things we were doing well, now we've gone remote or not eating together. It's hard to eat together. At the same time. We can't even get DoorDash to deliver everybody the same meal. It's not trying to pick on them. I'm not singling them out any food delivery companies getting let's say 20 people's lunches, delivery synchronize really tough. Yeah. And then what are we doing? And we're not even looking in the same place anymore. And those are the things where, okay, technology God is here. Technology's gonna have to get us out of this. And that's one of the pieces I like about a really good game where pick code names now every one of our games Codenames. Great game, you get a bunch of people playing it. Now everybody's looking at the same information and talking about the same things and taking turns. We're going back and forth. So we've lined everybody up. And hopefully, it's enjoyable. And so we've recaptured some of that synchronized and I'm communicating. And those are the two pieces that seem to make a real difference in feeling like they belong to something.

Announcer 24:38
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Jess Dewell 25:08
I remember before video things right I, my first company was a dispersed team, we had some people who came together, and we had most people complete all over, all over the place. And, and it can be tough. And I remember how much we relied on just chat, right? So he, when email was becoming a big deal in this responsiveness to email happened, well, anybody who had had a dispersed team or worked remotely with anybody was using all of this other technology, kind of like instant messengers today. But we were using it in this interesting fashion where it was when you could tell when somebody was on or, or not. And you actually had to hold a little bit of a calendar or a schedule, right making, being able to be around for your peers, to be accessible, to brainstorm, to be whatever, whatever needed to happen, happen in that chat. And that's kind of what you're talking about. Now taking this to the next level and having Well, are we looking at the same thing at the same time, and we have a lot more technology, which means if we don't like being in front of the computer, it's a kind of it's a different, it's a different type of experience, right? On, I'm saying being in front of the computer compared to using technology, because I think most people like to use technology, even though a computer may tire them out, right? Like for me, I talk all day, I would much rather be talking to you in person, getting, getting together and having this conversation that way. But because we're in two different places, we get to have a conversation like this, and we get to see each other like this in a way that hasn't happened before. And that's, that's something that we can tap into, we can look at it and we can find out well if technology is going to get us out of it. I guess you've probably already thought about what are some of these questions that a company can start asking that goes a level below the surface things for well, how do I clearly know what I want my team to work on? So that I've got those three things clarity, freedom, clarity, you're working toward a single end, and you're grounding in in something known, will take Pixar wisdom, grounding it in something known to rally around and have common bond immediately with somebody else.

Scott Novis 27:23
I think especially today, like a lot of business owners I'm talking to are slammed, there's so much demand. Was there 8.1 million job openings right now. 8 million people go right? I don't remember there being that many openings in 2019. And so the probably the biggest step I love what you're saying about the questions is step one is somebody probably the leader is going to have to take a deep breath and slow down for a second.

Jess Dewell 27:53
Yeah, we'll say it again. Say it again. What did you say?

Scott Novis 27:57
I said, the leader is going to have to take a deep breath and slow down for a second. And because you know, I'm the leader in my company, we set the pace. And if we need, you know, like there's a multiplying effect, my job is to be the lead domino not to run around and individually push down every Domino. And that, how do we set things up for people? And so we got to slow down for a second and ask those questions. And what I find over and over again, is the leaders I admire and respect are often sometimes an index her so I have a set of questions they carry with them to remind them, hey, remember to ask this. And when we rush through things, that's usually when we make the biggest mistakes. So clarity, that's actually quite tricky to deliver. I mean, there's some good systems out there for us. It came in the form of the Entrepreneurial Operating System like we had to create an accountability chart, not just an org chart, like who reports to who it was our chart for the employees. Here's what we're asking you to do. You should be able to come to your job every day. And know what's expected of you. Yes, like it's shocking how hard that is to do and how often we blow by it. That's when I, I run this thing called culture kitchen using the video game was telling you about I joke, I get people like, here's how you play it. I'll give him a three-minute explanation. I go by the way, you just got more training than any game truck employee ever got, like the first five years I ran the business. Yep. Then everybody struggles when they, when they go do this thing. Why are you struggling? I just explained it to you. Why is this hard? I didn't make it clear. You know, in the game will and they'll constraint it but that first clarity is worth striving for and the common end goal. I'm a visionary. I struggle with that all the time because there's so many shiny fun things we should chase after. If you constantly tinker and restart. How do you ever hit your stride? So that's one of the ones especially when the pressure is on this demand this, this demand like Did you take time to sit back going? Are we still all working toward the same goal? Are we still headed on it?

Jess Dewell 30:05
Right, as a visionary? And you know, you have that I'm not the visionary I think in the in the operating system you use, I think I'm an implementer. I know that I know the lingo a little bit, right. I'm the cheerleader,

Scott Novis 30:17
they're really valuable one makes you can make things get done.

Jess Dewell 30:21
Yeah, that's right. I stand aside, Shine the light and stuff happens. Right? That's so yes, that is I did get the word, right. And I think that that's interesting because I also have squirrel syndrome. Let me just be real with you, Scott. And so one of the things that I get excited about to the point of, oh, my gosh, there are a gazillion ways to get this thing done. And so how do you evaluate those? How do you assess those? How do you? How do you narrow those down? And I think as a visionary, I'm totally going off-topic. I'm out of my lane here. So you step up and fill in this line, which is as a visionary in squirrel syndrome. There's this concept that there's always something next. And I'm curious for you, how can you as a visionary looking at that next, and all of these neat ideas that are coming at you channel that and use the boundaries, create your own constraints to hold true to the vision that you have set?

Scott Novis 31:19
Two parts to that answer. Step one is I keep a list of all the things I want to work on. So I'm always adding and editing and revising my list of what's next. And second, I have the advantage of a lot of visionaries due to being the founder and the owner. And a really good friend of mine said this the other day as its beneficiary, he used the word beneficiaries, which is kind of an insurance term, but it's really like, whose benefit are you doing this for? And if I want to be of service to other people, including my staff, having the compassion to understand that if I keep moving the goalposts on them, they're gonna get discouraged and burnt out. Like you're saying, look for so many ways to get to this end, how does it How would it feel if I just get I just want to end on you where it is, you're about to pick the best way to get there and you're ready to go. Okay, I moved in.

Jess Dewell 32:08
I might be like on the edge in that gray area, because I'm like, sweet challenge goalpost move. Okay, can you tell? Can you tell? Can you tell this is that's this, that's where I that's, that's where I shine is to your, to your point, though, most people can't do that. They're like, come on, I thought we were already there. I thought we were gonna get to suffer water break.

Scott Novis 32:32
Are you kidding? You're amazing integrator. Yeah, I just, you know, it's for me. When the companies that I admire most tend to be very focused, and they have a big impact. And, you know, that's my goal is like, how do we, how do we make more people like loneliness? I mean, I don't think you can define your goal in the negative. So I'm like, I want to combat loneliness. Well, it's like anti-bullying you like great, what replaces the bullying, we got to replace the neighbors, something better. So show me the vision of what is supposed to look like. So I always speak of connection and inclusion. Because to me, that's the opposite of loneliness. And so how do we connect a lot of people? How do we help more people make more friends? And that's, then I gotta get focused on that. And I got to make sure that I'm not distracting the team from my most important mission. I happen to think there's lots of ways to do that. That'd be super cool. But you know, they want to get really good at their part of it. So to your question, creating clarity. And that common end special if you're a visionary is double-check. You're still pointed at the same thing that you were pointed out when you started all this? I shocked at how many times I come up here and go. Oh, yeah, we're over. Come back. Yeah.

Jess Dewell 33:47
When you have some Do you have somebody to check you? I mean, that's actually either. Amazing. Yeah, my work in our company is that's, that's, that's my role with all of our clients. There are other things that happen behind the scenes, but I'm like the are you still pointed where you want to go? Yeah,

Scott Novis 34:03
Brandon is my integrator. And we have the same page meeting. And so we talk about all the things I'm excited about, and he shields the company from my, my chaos. I am chaos, because I will, I will show up and disrupt things,

Jess Dewell 34:16
shield the company from and probably then puts this lens of amazingness on you.

Scott Novis 34:24
You know, that's the part. It really is a blessing. And probably my Presbyterian upbringing makes me uncomfortable. Like it's hard to receive a compliment. Thank you. It's, you know, you're amazing and like, I hate the term visionary. It sounds so egotistical. I'm the only one that has a vision. But, but Brandon did help me see, it's a responsibility. People want to know where they're going or their head down working. Better be really good at telling that story.

Jess Dewell 34:57
And be a same story isn't easy, easy egotistical, because That's how you were brought up. That having vision meant you were all alone and different from potentially better than that built in this judgment. Or does that egotistical piece come back? Because I actually caught myself. I'm like, Oh, it can sound egotistical. But is it? And so now I'm going to ask you that question. Where do you know where that came from in you that Brandon was able to help you breakthrough?

Scott Novis 35:21
I think that it was the shift for me was when it first talked about, you're the visionary, it gets that stereotype of CEOs that are narcissists. There's all about them, right? Al Dunlap is probably the biggest example I can think of is that, you know, he was a train wreck. And but it was all about him. And I'm like, I have no interest in being like that. And for what bringing it home is like, No, you provide a valuable, you know, it's a service, you're serving people, right? They want to believe in something they want. They want to know where they're going. Simon Sinek, in his book, infinite game, had the phrase just cause and I think that's a phenomenal formula. And so, I try to structure all my visions around his just cause because it's aspirational, gets people excited. And it's inclusive. Because then people can bring their like, here's, I know how to help you. Another way to think of adjust cost is this. If you go to the grocery store, and you take one of those little hand baskets, and you fill it with handy, but also tofu, and whole milk, but then chocolate, no, nobody knows what you're doing. They just see a bunch of random stuff there. But if you go in and you go, Okay, I'm all about health. So I've got vegetables, I've got fruits, and I'm picking, like the best things people can look at, you go, Oh, you're trying to eat healthy here, let me help you. I've got some ideas, I've got some suggestions, eating healthy is good. Or maybe you're throwing a party and you've got beer and chips. And people are looking at going, I know where you're going, I want to go there to let me help you. That's the job of the visionary is to make sure that people walking up on you go, I see where you're going. And it's exciting. And I want to go there too. And you got to hold that torch for other people to make it easier for them to figure out how to bring their talents and energy and participate to help move that thing forward. Because my experience is if you want to do anything really big, you need to get a lot of people involved, certainly more than yourself, and making it easier for people to come alongside and join you and be excited and energized by that mission. That's the real job of the visionary. You know, I think of him as a great guide. Not everybody looked at me, but like, I know somewhere we could go, that's really cool. You want to go? Yeah, huh. All right, I'll guide the way you're gonna have to help grab an oar. Let's go.

Jess Dewell 37:49
What makes a bold to really get Okay, and maybe even design in time for the unplanned and the unstructured activities that fuel creativity within a team and make them much more high functioning, or high performance even.

Scott Novis 38:08
Are you asking me that? Bold in my, my experience is the courage to act. It's like you've got to actually do something like Larry wing, it had one in favorite things about the secret because what you think about what you talk about because they left out the most important step, what you get off your button do something about actually happens. The bold is the last step, right, we get alignment, heart and head and vision. We've got clarity, we know what to do, like now we got to put it in motion and what my favorite definition of vulnerability is, I'm going to grow my hat, right? Entrepreneurs Organization, prizes, vulnerability. But often people think of vulnerability as disclosing shameful secrets. Okay, that's a form of vulnerability. I guess it's part of it. But a huge part of vulnerability is showing up when you can't control the outcome. Like you believe you could make the future better. You're not sure if you can show up and bring your best. That's the vulnerability I'm interested in. That's what makes it bold. Like, you're gonna do this. everything in my power to make it happen. No guarantees. All you all I can guarantee is you're gonna get my best. We're gonna see how it goes. That is born.

Jess Dewell 39:23
That's it. You heard it here. Last word from Scott novice. I have to say it was a strong one. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to the show. I'm glad you were here today, Scott, everybody else who's listening tune in to the live stream or this was our live stream. Our feed will go out on Thursday so it will show up in your podcast feeds. If you're not subscribed, head over to Red Direction and get your link in your favorite player so you can hear this and more from the Bold Business Podcast.

ANNOUNCER 39:50
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