Innovative Thinking – Reward Ideation – Blog 129

Reward Ideation


The last topic I want to discuss in this book is rewarding ideation.  B.F. Skinner was one of the most influential psychiatrist in developing the foundation for Behaviorism.

Skinner proved how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in what he called a Skinner box. The box contained a lever on one side and a hungry rat. As the rat moved within the box, it would accidentally knock the lever.  Immediately, a food pellet would drop into a container next to the lever.

The rats learned quickly to go directly to the lever after only a few times of being put in the box. The reward of receiving a food pellet if they pressed the lever would reinforce and train them to press the lever again and again.

Positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by providing a a reward individual (rats), finds rewarding.

If you want to encourage innovation as a positive behavior, you need to reinforce it with positive reinforcement.  Positive reinforcement it is critical to an innovative and creative team.


  • Understand this motivation and develop a plan ahead of time.
  • Let the team have time away from the office
  • Pay an incentive for good ideas.
  • Give awards at team ceremonies.


If you make it worthwhile to be creative and innovative, people will be.


“Imagine what you desire. Will what you imagine. Create what you will.”

–George Bernard Shaw


Lon Safko
Serial Innovator, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Innovative Thinking


Tags: innovative thinking, creative, creative thinking, Innovation, critical thinking definition, innovation definition, critical thinking skills, creative process

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