News and Ideas

Want To Be A Better Innovator?

If you want to be a better innovator, nurture your creativity and innovation potential, and develop them with the same rigor you do any other business skill.

You can embrace your creative potential by developing these 5 skills.

In The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators by Clay Christensen the 5 key traits that innovators have beyond the typical executive include the following:

Associative thinking- Innovators can’t help themselves and are always cross pollinating ideas from different experiences and looking for ways to apply them. By taking new experiences, and combining, or associating them with other seemingly unrelated questions or ideas great things can be happen. It may seem counter intuitive to the upwardly mobile consultant to invest time and energy in fields outside their own area of expertise but doing so may provide a breakthrough solution for a client in the future.

Questioning- Innovators by nature are curious and ask lots of “why “questions, frequently challenging the status quo. Questioning drives insight and helps make connections between seemingly disparate ideas. We should all internalize this skill and more questions.

Observing- Innovators watch intensely the activities in the world around them. Constantly watching customers, how technologies are used, what products do and do not do, and how services are experienced. By observing these problems can be turned into opportunities for new products or services.

Networking- Having a network whose perspectives are varied and different than your own is important to innovators. Engaging with a diverse group of people with unique perspectives, skill sets, and job roles will provide much different views on things. So test your ideas not with people who think like you do, but with those that don’t. You never know what will happen.

Experimenting- Innovators live to explore, test, and prototype. It is a chance to take some of the ideas generated through association, questioning, observing, and networking and see how work in practice. 

So visit new places, try new things, taste unfamiliar cuisines, with meet people who don’t think like you do.  Explore the world one bite at a time and you will make yourself a better innovator.