Thursday, January 31, 2019

Innovativeness and Innovation

By manifesting creativity and elaborating innovativeness from an individual endeavor to a team activity and a collective effort, the horizon of creativity is expanded and the effect of innovation is magnified.

Innovativeness is the capacity and competency to innovate, innovation is the act of being innovative and the result of innovativeness. Being innovative is simply about being different - think different, see things differently and figure out the different way to do things. Either individually or collectively, creativity is one of the most critical skills and innovativeness the key differentiator between the leader and the follower.

Being innovative as a state of mind: To create the new idea requires not just a single type of thought process, it’s the multidimensional thinking; not just one skill, but many; not just old experience, but the new perspective. Innovators are the round pit, doesn’t fit the square hole, they are disruptive to the status quo. Being innovative is a state of mind. Some individuals demonstrate more innovative traits than others. Indeed, innovation is all about how to disrupt the outdated thinking and the old way to do the things. There are many indicators to assess the intrinsic capacity of individuals such as interdisciplinary skills and knowledge, plasticity (fast learning), openness to experience, tolerance of ambiguity, cognitive ability and styles, intellectual engagement, creative problem-solving, ability to identify patterns or make unusual connections, tendency to constantly question the status quo, capacity to adapt, emotional intelligence and risk-taking attitude. In short, innovators obviously think differently- problem-solving is part of their DNA whether it is in the invention, communication, marketing, or repurposing something already being there.

Organizational innovativeness is the innovation competency of the business: Due to the fact that innovating in today’s digital world has become increasingly complex in nature. Often, organizations can no longer rely on a single individual or team to drive innovation. Creativity can manifest in a collective environment, and innovativeness can be scaled and multiplied collectively. While the individual contributions provide the 'building block" of innovativeness, it is the collective consensus on what to do with them that is exciting. Collectively, a highly innovative team is composed of complementary mindsets and skillsets, has inclusive and progressive traits, embrace diverse viewpoints and maximize the collective potential. The purpose of pursuing collective creativity or organizational innovativeness is based on the intent of the event was to develop a tangible result that did not currently exist; the result was not something that any individual participant could have conceived independently, and the resulting 'product' was more than any individual was capable of achieving. Developing people’s innovative mindset and business innovation competency raise different "learning" issues that organizations must deal with smoothly. The variety of innovation research papers show organizations that have earned a spot as the most innovative tend to have a larger proportion of innovative employees than organization not on the lists have.


Innovativeness and serendipity: Many still think that creativity or being innovative is serendipitous. Serendipity is not a lucky accident and it can be planned and worked upon. A positive attitude in the creative process to redefine, reinvent, re-innovate one’s commitment to being innovative is key. Being innovative is a growth mindset and a proactive attitude. You cannot wait for something to happen, keep curious, always think profoundly, learn new things, and acquiring new capabilities. If you consider being innovative is a state of mind with the creative process - a process of refinement and problem-solving, and then, all failures or successes are possible outcomes, and failure can be considered part of the learning curve. It would be helpful to study Benjamin's Franklin's 13 virtues for insight in attitude toward success in the creative process: Humility, Silence, Justice, Temperance, Cleanliness, Moderation, Frugality, Industry, Tranquility, Order, Sincerity, Chastity & Resolution.

Innovativeness becomes significantly important in the digital era with the advanced technologies because the future of work or running business will not be mere automatons, but continue to discover, differentiate, innovate, and be disciplined as well. By manifesting creativity and elaborating innovativeness from an individual endeavor to a team activity and a collective effort, the horizon of creativity is expanded and the effect of innovation is magnified.

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