Innovation can certainly be an adventure. It requires the courage to face uncertainty, and a willingness to take risks. The outcome is never entirely clear. Yet we must be proactive in our pursuit of it. The path is unknown so we need to be imaginative in how we seek it out. We cannot be sure [...]
Great innovators are nothing if not imaginative. Imaginative in coming up with new ideas. Imaginative in finding ways to explore and test and implement those ideas. Imaginative in how they observe the world around them and gain awareness. Imaginative in how they make sense of those observations. They do not just invent new [...]
When we think about innovation, we tend to think of new ideas as the fuel that drives it, and ideas are certainly important. But I am convinced that they are in fact secondary, secondary to our ability to gain new insights and discover new ways to understand the world around us. Great innovators [...]
When it comes to driving innovation, the single most important consideration is mindset—the mindset of those attempting to achieve innovation, and the mindset of those they encounter. No matter what the innovation challenge may be, it is issue number one and the single greatest factor in determining success or failure. That’s a claim [...]
If I asked a group of innovation practitioners, “What are some ways to make the odds of achieving successful innovation more favorable?” I suspect I would get answers like: Look for some quick wins that are not too far from existing products, markets and capabilities. Be sure you’ve identified a legitimate unmet customer [...]
The pounding that Goldman Sachs took at the very public hand of departing executive Greg Smith is exceeded only by the beating Smith took from Bloomberg, but Bloomber's readers (thankfully) aren't buying it...
Most of us spend our lives pursuing knowledge when what we really need is insight. Throughout our education and our careers we strive to learn things that we hope will bring us success. While knowledge is certainly important, a great insight will beat it every time.
Expertise in the field of innovation, like any other expertise, can frequently become a hindrance to further progress. We get comfortable with what we know, what’s worked for us in the past, secure in the knowledge that has already brought us success—along with personal status and influence and income.
We know from extensive research that idea generation can be enhanced—sometimes dramatically—by the in-the-room strategies that are employed. We’ve learned how to leverage our creativity by getting people to think in certain ways (and stop thinking in certain ways), by adopting a certain mindset, a mindset that produces measurably better outcomes. But what about the mindset outside the room? The same level of creativity and spontaneity, of improvisation and exploration that fuels those ideas in the first place, is needed throughout the innovation cycle...and is often lacking.
As we begin this new year, how personally committed to innovation are you? What are you dissatisfied with enough to muster the courage to change it? Which do you value more, serenity or courage?