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The Culturephiles

Dream On

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation

Kelsey DeGreef

Kelsey Orion DeGreefProject Manager, Tessitura Network

TitleDream On


Read/View Time2 min

The latest personality quiz to pop up on social media has confirmed that I am a Dreamer.

That connecting emotionally, acting intuitively, and imagining wildly are some of my greatest strengths. If you’re anything like me, you’d probably agree that wandering through the imaginative landscape of your own thoughts is where you can be found most of the time. And who could blame you? It’s magical, idealistic, even romantic. But, if you’re honest, you also know how easy it is to get lost when you have to pull yourself out of that comfy dream world and balance your ideas with real-world action.

I don’t think that this challenge is specific to Dreamers. It is suprisingly difficult to get most people to work outside of their comfort zones.

The disconnect between ideas and real-world action is more than just a personal problem that I have. It is something that organizations struggle with too. In today’s disruptive economy, we see more and more organizations holding tightly to convention, being inflexible, and discouraging risk-taking behavior. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

In an entrepreneurial environment where anything is possible and nothing is certain, that type of rigidity is a recipe for disaster. If you haven’t noticed yet, let me be the first to break it to you: the landscape of business today is not going to respond well to the same old routine.

Now, don’t get too nervous, because there is a bright side. Research has shown that when curiosity and experimentation are encouraged, innovation is cultivated. In turn, that innovation creates new value, empowers people to pursue the unfamiliar, and inspires action in an otherwise uncertain market.

To put it another way, innovation connects the dream world with reality.

“Innovation creates new value, empowers people to pursue the unfamiliar, and inspires action in an otherwise uncertain market.”

So how exactly might you go about cultivating innovation in your own organization? Well, this dreamer is here to empower you to start by saying “yes.” Honestly, I really believe that it is that simple. Now I can’t take full credit for this idea, because I first read about it in a blog post that was written by Chris Conley. His point was this:

“Say yes to someone with an idea who wants to work on it. Say yes to the hunch that there might be value in applying new ideas to your market. Say yes to someone with early enthusiasm for an idea. It’s a brilliantly simple insight.”

I don’t know what percentage of the people out there are dreamers, or how many dreamers work in your organization. But the next time that someone has the courage to suggest a new idea, think about saying yes. If anyone can say no to an idea, who has the responsibility to say yes?

It might just be you. 


Andrew is on sabbatical. This is the third post in a series featuring guest writers from the Tessitura team.


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Kelsey DeGreef

Kelsey Orion DeGreef

Project Manager

Tessitura Network

Kelsey Orion DeGreef is Project Manager for the Tessitura Network Project Management Office.

She completed her graduate degree in arts administration at Indiana University and now lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

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