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 have [...]
Innovators are skilled value-creators and they accomplish that in some very specific ways. They possess certain cognitive and behavioral attributes that—when combined at a high level—produce staggering concentrations of value. This is obviously true of renowned inventors and entrepreneurs whose ideas have changed the world and often made them quite rich. It is also [...]
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 many [...]
There may be no more important capability a person can have in the 21st century than knowing how to innovate. Not just professional innovators, but every one of us. Personal innovativeness is not a single attribute, but rather a whole constellation of behaviors that in combination fulfill all of the diverse capabilities that innovation [...]
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...
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.
Innovation is different from other business competencies because it’s not about extending our expertise; it’s about repeatedly revising our expertise, at times rethinking our most fundamental assumptions and beliefs about our business. We need to recognize that when we encounter new information and observations, we must constantly check to be sure that when we see a cat we don’t assume that it’s just another doggie.
If we want sustained robust innovation in our companies and economies, at the very least we need to stop treating our creativity like something with an on/off switch. We need to recognize creativity as the sustained cognitive function it is and the sustained business function it needs to become…always on.
Mindset may the most overlooked strategic issue in business today. Getting yourself and your people into the right frame of mind is becoming a crucial determinant of competitiveness, thanks to two huge business trends.