What have you concluded is impossible? Are you sure? How do you know? Maybe it’s just something that hasn’t yet been figured out. (And maybe you’re getting close.)
I’m hard pressed to think of any innovation that benefited only its creator. It seems to me that innovation by definition must benefit someone else, or it has no real value…but there are exceptions (unfortunately).
Innovation is an inherently emergent process. It’s not just about where we want to end up; it’s highly dependent on where we are. Where we begin has a profound impact on where we can go.
Great innovations are often based on powerful intuitions, but we all know examples of someone thinking they have a great intuition and being misguided. So where does intuition fit into innovation and how do we know when we can rely on it?
One of the principal challenges any innovator faces is persuading others of the value of an idea. It is a frequent source of frustration and angst, and an absolutely essential innovation skill.
“There are no facts about the future.” I don’t know who first said that, but I keep coming across it lately and I agree. It’s not possible to draw factual conclusions about things that haven’t happened yet (although that doesn’t stop us from trying)...which raises an interesting question: How useful are facts in evaluating innovative ideas?
When it comes to innovation, making good predictions isn’t about trying to discern where the world is headed as much as where we might take the world. It’s an imaginative process (often just as imaginative as coming up with ideas in the first place). Innovation is not about predicting the future we’re expecting but rather achieving the future we want to create.
Creative people tend to be intrinsically motivated. This is one of the best researched but least appreciated pieces of the whole innovation equation. It requires a total paradigm shift in the way companies think about motivating employees and what behaviors are valued.
So how in the world do you measure, much less develop, someone’s innovation mindset? We’ve found a way to do exactly that, using a unique research-based assessment that calibrates a person’s attitudes, assumptions and beliefs as they relate to the whole range of behaviors that are necessary for successful innovation.