Five Essential Innovation Team Conversations

by Steven Fahrenholtz | at MinneBar 12 | 12:10 – 1:00 in Challenge | View Schedule

Innovation requires teams to step into the tension of not knowing on a daily basis and yet, remain highly effective. They need to listen with positive intent, be able to have frank discussions while maintaining their relationships and have intimate conversations without the fear of disclosure.

Signpost language is a four step process of identifying the change that is needed, developing a short phrase that signals how we are going to act, teaching others the meaning of the phrase, and then as with all behavior change acting in accordance with the way we said we were going to act.

Typically, when we approach topics like active listening, constructive conflict or trust, we focus on our behaviors and how we act. Signpost language is the concept that we should focus on what we say and we will intuitively act differently and more importantly, people will naturally react to us differently,

As evidence that signpost language works, teams using Signpost Language and other tools have scored in the top 1% on team dynamics surveys


Steven Fahrenholtz

Steve is an innovation expert who believes that every organization already has, in-house, the resources, knowledge and human potential to revolutionize its business. Rather than dispensing advice, Steve co-creates innovation strategy with the teams that he supports.

Using co-creation as his guiding principle, he founded the iSquad, a best in-class, internal innovation department that worked with the Business Units at General Mills. The iSquad routinely co-created new products, with their Business Teams, and continuously replenished General Mills’ new product pipeline for ten years.

He has been a keynote speaker at the National PDMA conference on the importance of consumer empathy. In addition, he has spoken at the Minnesota PDMA several times on innovation discovery and other innovation topics.