Innovating our human relationships:
Where do we go from here? 

As fall approaches, many of us are experiencing changes to our circadian rhythms. The sun sets sooner and rises later, we are finding ourselves slowing (even if it doesn’t feel like it) in predictable, seasonal ways. If we choose not to slow, our bodies remind us that time is shifting and requirements for how we show need to be altered.

It’s been almost 30 years since I originally registered our company name; Innovative Connections. After nearly 15 years as an active consulting organization supporting you, our clients, to create new futures, I find myself reflecting on the POWER OF A NAME. The need for “innovative connections” is becoming stronger as our world changes. Many have expressed a struggle the past few years finding and maintaining connections amidst an ever-increasing virtual environment. While we crave “in-person” ways of being together, we know we must be more innovative in how we build relationships if we are to succeed in an environment that promises continued disruption.

We often consider Innovation in the realm of technology and science, but Innovation is really about how we solve problems in all aspects of our life (business and personal) by bringing in new ideas, methods, and ways of thinking and being. When we seek to innovate, we must also shift our mindsets around people and our teams. The future of work is changing, and so must our mental models.

There is no doubt that disruption in our world is increasing, but too often, we are merely resorting to innovations of the past and getting better and better at delivering models or practices that no one really wants. Our inability to innovate with people and relationships is keeping us trapped in a status quo that existed three years ago but is becoming less and less relevant today. Harvard Business Review reported that our personal and professional networks have shrunk 16% (more than 200 people) over the course of the pandemic.

In an attempt to cover up our unknowing about how to proceed in this new world, we instead run the risk of leaning more and more into control. In this cycle, we abandon our own needs and those of others due to a lack of innovation in our connections with each other. Our personal stories are unfolding into the collective and leading forward will require leaders to exhibit a greater ability for agility, emotional dexterity, and flow. It will require an ability to embrace a new reality and bring forth a new way of being into what seems like familiar situations.

Leaning into the future can feel like you are blowing in the wind or are a leaf on the surface of a river. You are not sure where the current will take you; sometimes it is calm and other times rough, but you know you must move with the flow to arrive at your destination. In this month’s newsletter, we offer some tools to support your journey in developing relationships at a new level. We too are uncovering the innovation in connections and will continue to partner with you to bring forth the collective wisdom we are gaining.




The pandemic has changed everything for organizations.

Internally, it has changed everything from the way people do the work, to the work people are willing to do, to the geography of where they can and are willing to work. People want to do work on their own terms, and this means that organizations that adapt agilely and with innovation are the ones that will succeed.

Externally, it has changed everything from the goods and services we seek to the way we physically buy our products.

During the lockdown, we were required to think differently—both personally, and professionally. Our homes became our epicenter, where we lived, ate, worked, shopped, connected with others, and recreated. We couldn’t get out to do things, as usual, so, we developed new ways of doing things.

This has left employers scrambling to accommodate an ever-changing workforce while struggling to maintain the status quo, much less an edge over their competitors. With this new landscape, leaders have had to dig deep to come up with innovative solutions on the fly. And now, even “post-pandemic” the expectation is that they continue to innovate, both for their staff internally, as well as to stay relevant in the marketplace.

So how can leaders juggle it all?

Here are some tips:

For your staff

  • Offer professional skill development
  • Develop and maintain effective hybrid workplaces
  • Make your purpose and your employees’ value known
  • Communicate often and transparently
  • Provide a safe space for employees to try new things, understanding that failure may come before success
  • Know that your employees are your greatest asset, they are the greatest ambassadors for your brand, make sure to show them you value them as much as your customers

For your organization

  • Set and communicate clear goals
  • Make innovation everyone’s responsibility
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of digital technology in your sales strategies
  • Understand the value of professional networking sites and social media to build the brand as well as recruit talent
  • Promote cross-functional teamwork
  • Make decisions quickly
  • Reward team success

Leaders and their teams will be required to continually innovate as the fabric of our workplaces continues to change at a blistering pace. Learning to embrace ambiguity and to believe in and rely on the innovations your team develops will help move your organization towards future success.



Employers are experiencing rapid environmental changes and workplace dynamics that have never been seen before. As a result, they have had to create innovative solutions on the fly. Leaders must be committed to understanding their employee’s needs to ensure they build a sustainable talented, motivated, high-performing team of individuals who will stay with their organization for the long term.
A team assessment provides needed information to do just that.
  • Meets your team where they are and helps you determine a successful path forward
  • Improves communication and collaboration between co-workers and management
  • Elevates employee engagement as individuals find value and meaning in their work
  • Creates a support network for cooperation and project completion
  • Allows individuals to share diverse perspectives and work out the best solutions Encourages creativity, innovation, and productivity

Contact us today to learn more: 970-279-3330 or




People who work in an environment of psychological safety are generally happier in their jobs, more creative, and work more effectively in teams. This provides the employee with job satisfaction and the employer with a more productive workforce.
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Paradox Leadership

Innovation = Competitive Advantage

Innovation — Ideas or Action?

Check Your Bias










Now that we’ve introduced you to our newest team members, we’ll take a step back and reintroduce you to some other members of our team:

Mystie Johnson Foote, MD

Reta Coburn