We Must First Humanovate to Innovate

How are you Being?

This was a simple question I asked a group of senior managers at a recent offsite Keynote – and there were some pretty interesting looks coming back my way.

After all it’s not a question that most of us would get asked when in this type of environment as we are used to putting the word Doing before Being given the hectic pace at which us Humans “do” things these days.

It was a session where the main theme of the day was innovation and looking at how innovation would help improve the customer experience and ultimately the business outcomes. Innovation is one of those “hot words” right now and everyone seems to have an innovation lab or be recruiting innovation consultants. Even our PM spruiks the virtues of the “I” word although I’m not sure that we have become the “Innovation Nation” that he longs for.

So – what is at play here?

I was simply making a point that in order to do great innovative work we must first seek to understand how this can be directly impacted by how we choose to “turn up” or “be” at any particular point in time; and how this can influence the efforts of those who we have the privilege to manage on a day-to-day basis.

There is a need for us Humans to alter our current state if you like:

To Humanovate………

Now I’m not even sure that this is a word however I’m going with it for now.

Having googled up Humanovate I got nothing so I changed this to Innovation and was bombarded with a whole range of definitions even under the first search.

Here’s what I got:

For the sake of the session I went for simplicity and chose:


They then undertook a simple exercise that was based on the idea that to succeed at innovative practices we must first Humanovate – that is create our own Human Shift of Emphasis from DOING to BEING

I even shared my “To Be” and “To Do” Lists for this particular session

Authentic – Humans have great Bullshit Detectors and will scan for the scammer

Present – It’s their time and I must respect that by being “in the room” when I’m in the room.

Provocative – The best outcomes arise from different perspectives and not from “head nodding” so throwing a bit of purposeful provocation couldn’t hurt.

These are choices I must make for myself and make sure I am “being” that way whilst in the room. There’s no room for flip-flopping in front of 150 BS Detectors.

These are also important however they take less effort and are more of a logistical or robotic nature – the choice is made for me if you like once I accept the assignment.

Each of the participants created both a “TO DO” and a “TO BE” list and captured a clear WHY statement and there were some amazing shares on the concept of BEING IMPROVES DOING.

In essence they were asked to Shift Their Emphasis and for the point in time put Being Before Doing.

Do you Humanovate before you Innovate?

Perhaps a Shift of Emphasis from Doing to Being would be useful

Give It A Try…………………….What’s On Your “To Be” List?

Mark LeBusque is the Human Manager. He has a track record in helping clients add more Human to their businesses and drive up Employee Engagement, Customer Experience and Business Results; and his 7 Step approach is based on his own experimentation as a Manager.

Mark’s first book BEING HUMAN – Why Robots are not the Answer to Business Success was launched in February 2017. For Orders click below

It’s The Right Thing To Do

It doesn’t make sense to have to do the wrong thing in order to do the right thing – Jim DeMint

I spoke recently at an IWD Conference about my approach to Life Design, how it impacts on Employee Engagement and Happiness; and in particular how I expected, with my permission those under my care to take accountability for the design of their Life.

It involved each of them a 2 week “Life Audit” where every second, minute and hour over that time was categorised in the following 4 areas:



Family & Friends


Upon completing the audit I asked them to look forward 12 months to imagine a more balanced Life and set a goal for each of the non-work related areas.

These goals were then added into their annual performance plans and each assigned a 5% loading towards their year end bonus. Yes that’s correct non-work related goals in a performance plan with a financial incentive attached.

My thinking was that a Human with a better awareness of Life Design would be happier and therefore more productive across all facets of their life.  This is supported by research by Happiness Expert Shawn Anchor that happy and engaged employees increased sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%.

All were then assigned a “Balance Buddy” and each fortnight they checked in and held each other accountable to their non-work related goals. Each month they would check in with me to give me an update on their progress.

It’s not groundbreaking stuff I know however it was a question that I was asked after speaking that surprised me:

How did you get permission to do this from senior management?

My answer was that I didn’t seek or get permission to do this; I did it because it was the right thing to do.


Many Managers face an increasing dilemma in the many roles that they play every second, minute and hour of each day. There is a tension between doing what I’m told and doing what is right. Sometimes doing what I’m told is the right thing to do.  Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes what I’m told to do may not be what my Manager really wants me to do. Given our human instinct to survive, to feel safe and secure the easy option is to do what I’m told even though at times it doesn’t feel right.

It is hard to do what is right when you are unsure of the personal risk and reward that will come with it.

Why not take a deep breath today, pluck up some courage, hold your nerve and do something today that is the right thing to do.