What most distinguishes the innovation high performers from the less innovative is not some indiscernible secret sauce of mental faculties. What distinguishes them is their mindset. That is to say: their attitudes, assumptions and beliefs—their mental models—about how the world works. These mental models are often subconscious. Yet they can have a huge impact on someone’s behavior and therefore how well they perform—and innovate.
Research and Development has long been at the core of innovation efforts of companies worldwide. While many other innovation tools have since come into use, R & D remains an essential activity—especially in any technology sector. And so it is with individuals.
The way organizations review ideas is no doubt heavily impacted by the mental models people hold. Yet those beliefs are rarely surfaced and examined. One of the primary reasons that one person likes almost any idea, while someone else rejects it, has a great deal to do with the mental models each person holds.
We all carry around a great many mental models and we probably haven’t given much thought to most of them. Yet, they may have a profound effect on how we behave. They impact the way we interact with people and strive to motivate and lead.