Saturday, October 1, 2016

Three Personas of the Digital Innovators

Innovators find more viewing spots than the rest.

With the increasing speed of changes, fierce competition, and unprecedented uncertainty and ambiguity, creativity is the most wanted skill in the 21st century. But who are the innovators? Are innovators belong to a rare breed, or are innovators just among us and within us? With “VUCA” characteristics, what are important personas do digital innovators present today?

Bigger-Box Thinker: Creativity is analogized as “Out-of-Box” thinking, more precisely, innovators today need to be bigger-box-thinkers because the borders of functions, firms, industries, and geographical regions are blurring due to the hyperconnectivity of the internet and the latest digital technologies. Being a digital innovator means you need to break down the silo thinking, breakthrough conventional wisdom and challenge the status quo, push and encourage you and the entire team to "think in bigger boxes" (think outside of your job description and consider company and industry and even societal impacts). Being a bigger box thinker also means to leverage nonlinear thinking and let the creative mind run free for a while, engage all people in the team in improving both thought processes and optimizing working processes. Assume that every problem has multiple solutions, ask yourself and others for both framing the right questions and managing alternative ways to solve them. Thinking in bigger-box also means you need to be in a continuous learning mode with interdisciplinary understanding, embrace critical thinking and creative thinking to challenging existing thoughts or standards and to seek additional knowledge and experience, for connecting dots to catalyze innovation.

Pathfinder: Being creative also means you need to get used to stepping outside that old box to unfamiliar territory, you discover and explore your own path. An innovator is often a visionary and a pathfinder. Because innovation comes with the foresight to envision a need that others overlook or ignore and a willingness to forge ahead to satisfy visions, in spite of a risk of failure. Discovery is 'the journey of life' as each day we discover something previously unknown to us. Discovery is the choice to look at something differently and by that choice never look at anything the same. The word "Discovery" refers to "Knowledge,” or more precisely, insight, you discover something others ignore, or you take the path without just following in others’ footsteps. Vision grows for those who learn to see and enter into the experience of simple perceptual connection with the wide open personal completion into the moment's happening. As one develops full participation at the moment, so does the perceptual envisioning dexterity, expanding reception and reach. The world needs more of creative thinkers who can handle the ever-increasing complexities and discover the new path for leading digital transformation.  

Multidimensional viewers: Innovators find more viewing spots than the rest. They find angles to wiggle through where most are unable to even envision a place where there is an angle. They have the ability to connect the unusual dots and see things via the broader lens. In short, innovators obviously think differently, and problem-solving is part of their DNA. Creative minds with cognitive differences are good at asking open and thought-provoking questions because the good question brings a multifaceted perspective. Creative people are typically disrespectful of outdated rules, and their creativity is really their way of breaking out of or reframing how they see the world and try to push the world forward.

Creativity is a high level of thinking and intelligence. Intelligence is the quick and clear perception of any situation, plus the ability to adjust to any circumstances. It is contextual and multidimensional. Digital innovators also need to present leadership skills, master creative communication, understand what is wrong with the status quo, have the good sense and sound judgment to attract and surround yourself with the right people and work collaboratively to do more with innovation.


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