Thursday, August 31, 2017

Three “D” Traits in Innovators

The evolution of innovation only exists in the more open environments that create insights, take advantage of all sources of creativity in a more open way.

Being innovative is a state of mind which is more important than doing any type of innovation. Being able to engage in the successful creation of innovations is a very hard work and does include a lot of deep thinking, observation, inquiries, unusual connections, experimenting, skills, abilities and hardworking. Innovativeness is clearly a competency at both individual and corporate level. The question is how to identify innovative traits and build your creativity strength, either at individual or organizational level. Here are three D-traits in innovators.

Discovery: Discovery is perception and awareness of the unique in the field of the ordinary. Discovery means exactly what it means - uncovering what is hidden from you, out of your five senses, from your routine, from your company, from your industries, etc. Discovery is the result of serendipity. The more discovery you envision, the better chance and possibility you are the innovators. Discovery is realizing something or having the experience of something that therefore has not been known to you or known only as a concept, but now is alive to you.
Discovery is the trait of innovators because discovery is the choice to look at something differently and by that choice never look at anything the same, and innovation is all about discovering the new way to do things. It is also important to discover the needs of innovation as the first step. From innovation management perspective, it is important to build a creative working environment that fertilizes innovation, makes the work not just a job, but a career journey full of discovery and adventure.

Difference: Being innovative is simply about being different - think different, see things differently and figure out the different way to do things. Creative minds with cognitive differences are good at bringing the fresh perspective to the table, asking thought-provoking questions, understanding things from different angles, and solving problems in different ways. A creative or an innovator has a raw intelligence to think independently, creatively, critically or futuristically. Innovators whose work continues to move forward and, in turn, is profitable to self and others think differently than those who are traditional thinkers, they are comfortable to be different, and problem-solving is part of their DNA. From innovation perspectives, it is important to have a heterogeneous group setting and let people view an idea from different perspectives, brainstorm diverse thoughts and ideas, apply thinking techniques, harness different experiences, perspectives and ideas of people, recognize your innovators, look out for curious people with a broad knowledge base, interdisciplinary understanding, and hands-on attitude, encourage people to express themselves, brainstorm and share ideas, and inspire inclusiveness.

Discipline: The paradox of innovation is that it has to break down some old rules for sparkling creativity; on the other side, it needs the certain discipline to keep focus. Innovation challenges the status quo and that is important in a healthy and innovative organization. It is also important to set rules for safeguarding the status quo, but not stifling innovation. ‘Business creativities’ such as leveraging creative thinking and taking an innovative approach for business goals, does require certain ‘rules,’ to help frame, concentrate, and make innovation a fair game to invite all great talent in. Because being "unruly" incurs risk, you need to set the updated principles and the right discipline for managing the innovation and mitigating the risks. However, many silo-based work environments contain overly rigid processes which stifle innovation and have hidden barriers which discourage creativity.

Without innovation, organizations cannot thrive for the long term. Innovativeness becomes significantly important in the age with the advanced technologies because the leaders of the future will not be mere automatons, but continue to discover, differentiate, and be disciplined as well. The evolution of innovation only exists in the more open environments that create insights, take advantage of all sources of creativity in a more open way and leap innovation management to the next level.


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