Monday, September 27, 2021


An effective innovativeness index enables individuals or management to identify creative traits, recognize innovators, so collectively, they can build high performance innovative teams with complementary competencies to reinvent the future.

Being innovative is a state of creative mind on how to disrupt outdated thinking and the old way to do things, and figure out alternative solutions in a consistent manner. Some individuals demonstrate more innovative traits than others. The Personal Innovativeness-index will indicate, top-down, the contributed economic value of each employee (executive/management, professional/expert) in relation to their innovative initiatives and personal creative activities, commitments, influences, impact, and contributions. 

To score individuals as innovators, focus on individual capabilities and potential to innovate. Here are a few intrinsic capacities of individuals that the management can make an objective assessment of to create a personal innovativeness index.

Cognitive ability & style to identify patterns and make unusual connections: Creativity is an innate cognitive process to generate new ideas. Human’s cognition is a complex process which can happen in many different ways- exploring varieties of meanings, thoughts, abandoning old connections, and establishing new relations to connect unusual dots for sparking creativity. Innovativeness is both natural and nurtured. Each one of us has some natural cognitive traits, with our own set of conscious and subconscious patterns. The interaction between what is within us (the self), and how we project to the exterior world is the bridge to achieving inner wholeness, as well as trigger our creativity. Every person has the ability to be creative, just tear down the mental barriers they have and tap in their inherent abilities to innovate.

Being innovative is a state of mind which leads us to understand the inner wholeness. Creativity happens at the intersection of consciousness and subconsciousness; or consciousness and super-consciousness. That’s why “aha” moments are neither completely serendipitous nor fully-planning. The more consciously we grow, the more aligned we become with our intuition, the more chance we can practice creativity muscle to identify patterns and make unusual connections. Innovators are usually independent thinkers, who criticize conventional thoughts or practices; discover new patterns or generate something fresh; all of that requires a deliberate mental effort. In neuronal terms, this involves disabling some of the “wiring” and working on the new ones, to generate chains of thoughts, for sparking imagination or coming up with new ideas.

Interdisciplinary knowledge and skills for creative problem-solving: We live in the hyperconnected world in which the border of knowledge is blurred as functional, industrial, or geographical silos are broken down. Hard science and soft science converge; art and science become so interlinked with each other to design great products or services for customer delight. At present, we cannot separate knowledge and creativity if we want to stay competitive, the updated and interdisciplinary knowledge enables wider dots connections for creative problem-solving. In fact, being creative is simply about how to solve a problem in an intelligent manner.

Keep in mind, knowledge is an important ingredient to build a powerful innovative mindset; however, “too much” knowledge, especially some outdated knowledge could clog imagination and stifle innovation. To put it another way, being creative is not about being "knowledgeable" only, but about generating new concepts, fresh knowledge, or stimulating great imagination. Because innovativeness is often at the edge of things and able to expand the boundaries of knowledge or conventional thinking, and through such expansions, new knowledge is developed. For those who are trying to solve problems, it is important to apply creativity in a recursive way for both problem identification and problem-solving. It’s about reaching an interdisciplinary stage at which innovators, perhaps collectively, can mix imagination and knowledge/skills or integrate different pieces of knowledge/skills seamlessly for creative problem-solving.

Personality with the traits such as openness to new experience, tolerance of ambiguity, personal initiatives to practice creativity, social linkage skills & competencies: Both introverts and exerts have potential to be innovators. Extroverts network and get some good ideas through social interactions; introverts ponder deeper, connect unusual dots to generate fresh ideas. So the innovative traits for both personalities are the tendency to constantly question the conventional wisdom, Self-awareness, intellectual engagement - taking varying activities that can stimulate your imagination and spur creativity. Creative people define and create their own convention that they live by in comparison to everyone else who just accepts or inherits their convention to live by.

In a world where change is significantly speeding up, business leaders couldn’t predict the future with a certain degree of accuracy, uncertainty and ambiguity are the new reality. Creative personality seems to be more colorful and paradoxical. Creative people usually have a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and personalities; they are intellectually curious; insightful, confident, and humble; always love to listen to the two sides of the stories; or facilitate the different conversations. Openness is the most difficult thing to refresh your mind and create novel ideas; being imaginable, inquisitive, proactive, arguable - you don’t need to agree completely with the other side's viewpoint, but you can always gain empathy, insight, and a new perspective to see things from the other angle and be creative to figure out alternative solutions.

Learning plasticity- willingness to accept feedback or tenacity to refuse it; with capacity to adapt: Growth is not possible unless people are willing to move out of their comfort zone and demonstrate learning plasticity to continually learn, grow and innovate. People with a learning mind see unique patterns and make fresh connections that others overlook, to connect wider dots for sparking creativity.

A mind with learning plasticity is able to absorb all necessary knowledge and adjust its thinking processes according to changes in its environment; apply the acquired knowledge and lessons learned to succeed in new situations. Learning is a lifelong experience, it should make our mind more open to embracing new possibilities, develop an agile mindset, remove outdated concepts and let fresh knowledge in, make unusual connections to nurture creativity.

Emotional intelligence - enhance a healthy emotion cycle to reach a state of innovativeness, including to have the right dose of risk-taking: It’s normal for being a human with all the emotions vibrating. Each emotion helps us evolve. Creativity is infused with an inner cohesion, emotional wholeness and comes from a vision of uniqueness. Creative tensions or conflicts make people argue, debate, and criticize ideas or things; passion pushes people to act; calm enables people to analyze, and persistence allows them to take the tough journey with resilience, etc.

Emotional intelligence is based on emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others. The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like creative thinking and problem-solving. .To avoid the trap of emotional turbulence or individual perception, you have to think critically and profoundly and you have to really dig beneath the superficial layer, understand the trigger of emotions, and apply emotional intelligence to nurture creativity in a consistent manner.

There are creative people in almost every profession. The most advanced societies are diverse mixtures of peoples that can spark creativity and develop innovativeness. You cannot wait for something breakthrough or “aha moment” to happen, keep curious, always think profoundly, learn new things, and acquire new capabilities. An effective innovativeness index enables individuals or management to identify creative traits, recognize innovators, so collectively, they can build high performance innovative teams with complementary competencies to reinvent the future and drive transformative changes.


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