Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Five “S” Traits in Innovators

Create and nurture a creative working environment in your organization where humility is appreciated, curiosity is encouraged, and creative thinking is rewarded.

Innovators are the rare breed, but creativity is within us and innovators are among us. There are many traits in innovators. 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 see the old problems from different angles and find different solutions. Here are five “S” traits in innovators.

Subconsciousness: As we know some of historical “AHA” moments for significant inventing and innovating happened when people took some repetitive tasks or random activities. Why? Because sometimes, the subconscious thinking is far more powerful and magical than conscious thinking.  During the repetitive activities, the subconscious capacity can sometimes produce creative ideas for disparate tasks, to be interactively creative within a task is to suppress any automation or disembodiment, to become immersive with it. Sometimes, the more mindless the activities you took, the higher probability of subconscious disruption happened. In practice, the process of 'preloading' the subconscious capacity with a task (requiring a creative solution) and then deliberately distracting the conscious mind is quite common in creative industries.

Simplicity: Innovation is often to make things more intuitive and easy to use. As Einstein wisely put: “Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.” By nature, innovators often enjoy simplicity, though they also have the complexity mindset to come out creative ideas, because creativity is the high level of thinking via integrating multiple thinking processes. Progress is in simplification, which often follows complexity. When pioneering and solving problems, initial solutions are often more complex than required, and then adoption and progress come with simplification. The available digital technology today just makes innovation easier to do now than in the past, less costly, more easily accessible. Unfortunately, in most of the organizations, innovation is still a serendipity, lack of both invisible cultures to spark creativity and the underlying processes/mechanisms to manage innovation.   

Social collaboration: Social media and platform make the world smaller, now the people located in the different continent can brainstorm ideas and co-create new knowledge seamlessly. Creativity is about connecting the dots, it is excellent to bring social media to this realm, to urge a sense of connection via virtual "conversations" beyond the confines of a blighted neighborhood. Collaboration is a fundamental part of what ultimately fueled the inspiration, imagination and innovating. Through social collaboration, consider starting new conversations that galvanize inspiration and gain traction on a powerful theme of renewal and growth. There is always a noble goal behind innovation, identifying shared goals is a crucial collaboration success factor. From innovation management perspective, part of the innovation capability coherence comes through the sense of ownership, which is different from managers "owning" their people. Social collaboration not only propels innovation, and it’s the heart, soul, and DNA of innovation. As you do, and you improve when you reflect and rectify what you have done.

Self-confidence: Self-confidence is something you build your creative ability. Innovators have a ridiculous amount of self-confidence. Being innovative is a state of mind, confidence allows creativity expansion to full potentials. Innovation is more often than not, a thorny journey, and many times you also have to be willing to fail a lot and be very persistent. If you're not sure of yourself, you won't be able to convince others to follow your leadership and vision. With confidence, you feel free to express, enter, engage fully the creative process, and rectify your steps along the way. There is the clear line between confidence and arrogance. Being confident means you understand your own limitation and you are comfortable to be a unique, and an imperfect human being. Through such self-reflection, you know that when you were born you were not a finished artwork, and all your life it keeps on going like that: This is self-actualizing. And through that, you do and create, and you keep on reinventing yourself and staying in the learning and creative mode.

Self-motivation: We are all complex beings with highs and lows and all these feelings are “worthy” of being expressed. There is the full spectrum of emotions behind innovation. Self-motivation is a significant component in the expression of creativity. While we each have the enormous creative capacity, our willingness to express and exercise it becomes more complicated and challenging. Thus, self-motivation keep you participating and moving forward. If you consider being creative as a way of thinking, of expression, of seeing things differently., etc, and then it happens every day, multiple times a day.  If someone has the desire to be curious and involved in a situation, their innate creativity will push them along to a limited extent. Creativity is innate. If the conditions are right and there is love, support, encouragement, and permission, creativity can be abundant.

To a gifted creative talent, being creative is something that they are, whether they're consciously being creative or not. Depends on what you consider creativity and being creative. All humans are naturally creative, making innovation happen starts with a mindset. Create and nurture a creative working environment in your organization where humility is appreciated, curiosity is encouraged, and creative thinking is rewarded, build a risk-taking culture, and let your innovators shine.


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