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Shelli Baltman shares a post from an intern at her company that gives all team leaders, bosses, and managers insight into introverted employees and how to help them integrate. 

As someone who’s always been the quiet person in the room, I never could have imagined that I would end up in an organization like The Idea Suite. An unconventional innovation agency teeming with energy, enthusiasm, and passion, we unlock the creative potential of people and businesses through innovation – which in a digital environment can be challenging, since that energy and enthusiasm needs to be transmitted through video calls rather than in person. For an introvert like me, joining this team has been a wild, challenging and ultimately extremely fulfilling ride.

So how have I managed to fit into a group of mostly extroverted, passionate, and energetic individuals you might ask? I’ve adopted a few tactics and made small changes that make it easier to leverage my introverted tendencies as strengths.

So here are 5 tools that helped me navigate a virtual environment as an introvert:

  1.     1 on 1 coffee chats. 

I can sometimes disappear in large groups. I tend to stay quiet and even if I have something to add to the conversation, I always seem to miss the right moment to say it! To someone who identifies as an introvert, it always feels as though extroverted folks are just better at making conversation. But there’s a way around it! I’ve found that arranging 1 on 1 meetings with my colleagues and supervisors is incredibly helpful. Not only is it less intimidating to have a conversation when there is only one other person there, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to express any interesting ideas or opinions that I may not have had the chance or the courage to say in larger meetings or to ask questions that I might otherwise feel uncomfortable raising.

 

Key points include:

  • Team player technique
  • Quality communication
  • Progressive growth

 

Read the full article,  Navigating My Way through a Virtual Internship, on theideasuite.com. 

 

 

Shelli Baltman shares a post from her company blog that showcases innovative products in food and packaging. 

Kate Summers, Innovation Associate at The Idea Suite, highlights some innovative products that were due to be showcased at this year’s Natural Products Expo West.

If you’re passionate about innovation, as we are at The Idea Suite, then you’ve most likely experienced waiting with bated breath for a certain event in your calendar each year: The Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. An annual gathering of thousands of up-and-coming and established vendors in the natural product space, along with tens of thousands of industry attendees, Expo West has long been an invaluable space in which to uncover emerging trends in food, beverage, health and beauty. With attendance also offering a fantastic opportunity to connect with clients and peers in a truly inspirational setting, the show has become a much-anticipated and beloved tradition since we first opened our doors as an agency.  

Unfortunately, this year’s Natural Products Expo West event was initially postponed and then recently cancelled, due to the developing circumstances around the COVID-19 virus. By way of response, we made an open call to vendors affected by the cancellation of NPEX through our LinkedIn page, to give them a chance to showcase their new products in this blog.

 

Innovative products include:

  • Food 
  • Packaging
  • Bandages

 

Read the full article, Natural Products Expo West: A Closer Look At Some Of This Year’s Breakthrough Innovation, on theideasuite.com. 

 

 

Shelli Baltman reflects on creativity, and how you don’t have to be ‘creative’ to bring it in to your day-to-day working life.

‘But I’m not creative!’

Even today, it’s hard for me to write that.  After almost 20 years as an Innovation Expert, a role where clients hire me for my creativity and fresh ideas, and a long track record of commercial success, there’s still a small, childlike part of me that wonders if I’m creative enough.

My journey to a career in the world of creative thinking and innovation was not the standard path through marketing or advertising. After an undergraduate business degree, I started my working life as a management consultant, building excel models and cutting my teeth in data and analytics.  Even after my MBA I worked at McKinsey & Co. in London and was practicing a purely fact-based, analytical approach to the business world.

Then, while working on a pitch for a start-up, I met some amazing creative geniuses, who blew me away with their ability to think differently, their ideas that seemingly came from nowhere, and their unwavering belief in those ideas, however eccentric. And I couldn’t figure out how they did it. Where were they getting these incredible ideas? Did their brains just work differently?  I was jealous, to say the least. I wished more than anything that I was creative, like them, since it looked like so much more fun than the world I was working in!

And so, in 2002, I decided to make it my mission to move into the creative working world. I set out developing my creative muscles and started reading and learning widely, all the while doggedly pursuing a career with an innovation agency. Then, finally, I convinced an agency to hire me, which marked the beginning of over 20 years of fulfilling creative work, and more than 400 successful innovation projects. Now, not only do my clients value and launch the ideas developed during those projects, but I truly love my career, and each and every one of the creative skills that I’ve been able to develop and weave into what we do at The Idea Suite.”

 

Key points include:

  • State of mind
  • New connections
  • Embrace experimentation

 

Read the full article, “But I’m Not Creative!”: My Journey To Creativity, Confidence And A Career That I Love, on theideasuite.com.