Innovation and The Trust Paradox©

Innovation and The Trust Paradox©

Canada desires to be an Innovation Nation. As leaders of Canada’s Organizations, how can we increase Innovation?

I believe increasing trust levels through The Trust Paradox©: Safety – Risk connection, is a cornerstone for boosting innovation in Canada’s organizations.

Google Inc. in their research initiative titled “Project Aristotle” determined psychological safety was the key determinant for increasing productivity and innovation. (“How to build the perfect team”, New Yorker Magazine. February, 28 2016)
Paul Zak, leading neuroscientist and author of Trust Factor (“Trust Factor”, 2017) found neuroscience experiments clearly demonstrated higher trust levels significantly increase productivity and innovation in organizations. This is consistent with a PricewaterhouseCoopers study showing companies with high interpersonal trust are more innovative. ( )

How can you build greater innovation capacity in your organization?

I propose using  The Trust Paradox: Safety – Risk connection, as a model to guide you. Ask yourself: “What risk can I as the leader take that would increase psychological safety levels in my organization?”

One CEO of a privately held company I work with (CEO is not the owner, or a shareholder) chose to share full financial performance numbers with his leadership team. This created more openness in agreeing to target numbers with their “Vision2020” and created significantly more ideation and support for how to secure the growth in revenue & profit associated with “Vision2020”. Sharing full financial performance numbers with the leadership team was a first for this organization.

I welcome all questions and comments. My email:

Michael Samson

Founder & President, INSPIRE CANADA


Michael is a business consultant who provides people development and change initiatives across Canada, while also assisting organizations in the US and Australia. In witnessing as a senior leader, a large highly successful company stumble and fall through an absence of trust, he committed himself to supporting organizations create a different outcome. Michael as a leader demonstrated the miss-steps he witnessed beforehand; appearing invulnerable, withholding thoughts and feelings, story-making, and reactivity. Recognizing this in himself, he increased his personal development efforts and continually re-commits to his purpose: “to create trust in the world, through demonstrating courage and kindness to myself and others, in every interaction.” Having recently completed a Masters degree in Leadership & Organisation Development in Seattle, US (Leadership Institute of Seattle, (LIOS)) Michael compliments his business experience with academic study in the methodologies for successful organizational change and people development. He is currently studying Lean process improvement and works his spiritual practice for “development at depth”.