You can learn to be more innovative!
That’s right. You can learn to think differently. You can also learn to act more like an innovator.
Your ability to be innovative is not only a function of your mind. It is also a function of your behaviors!
If you change your behaviors you change your creative impact. And who doesn’t want to be more creative?
Innovators Act Differently
Authors Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator’s DNA) studied great innovators. Their research revealed that innovators think and act differently than most people.
Innovators are questioners. They question the status quo. They look for the unique and extraordinary. They link ideas that are not normally connected. They tinker and play with things and test new ideas.
Innovators consistently question, observe, network and experiment more than others. Their behaviors trigger associational thinking, where they excel at linking ideas that aren’t obviously related. Those associations produce original thoughts, plans and designs.
All of us have problems and opportunities sitting in front of us right now. Many of us don’t have a solution for those challenges.
We might need a new process. We might need a new service or product. Or we might be looking for a new model.
Thinking and acting as an innovator can help you leverage that opportunity and may just propel you to the top. To climb the ladder, you need strong discovery skills.
Staying curious keeps you engaged and your organization alive. You have to find a way to reclaim some of that youthful curiosity. It’s time to recover that young childish inquisitiveness about everything around you. It’s time to embrace awe as you observe with marvel and wonder.
Why Most Don’t Think Differently
Most organization leadership is biased. They have status quo bias: the tendency to prefer an existing state of affairs to alternative ones.
Most accept the status quo. They embrace, “It it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” without ever questioning if “it” is really broke. It’s easier to do what they’ve always done.
They work hard to efficiently deliver the next thing that should be done according to their business model. They work inside the box.
They shine at converting the vision into tasks to achieve the goal. They excel at analyzing, planning, implementing and completing. They are very good at execution.
They are not good at discovery skills.
Innovation Starts With You
Ultimately, innovation starts with you.
Creativity skills are not just genetic characteristics passed down through generations. In fact, they can be developed and refined. Innovators can be made!
To be an innovator today, you have to want to change the status quo. You have to intentionally take calculated risks. And you have to have the courage to change.
Innovators actively engage in discovery skills and build discovery habits. They are constantly wondering, “What’s next?” And they believe it is their job to generate innovative new ideas.
Why do organizations need both implementers and innovators? How can you foster an atmosphere of innovation at your organization?