Monday, October 4, 2021


Spot innovators who are comfortable to be different, think differently, question insightfully; whose work can make a unique influence and lead transformative changes; who can take alternative ways to solve old or emergent problems creatively.

People who can solve problems in a new way are innovators. Many still think that creativity or being innovative is serendipitous. Creativity is both innate and can be developed. In highly innovative organizations, creative people are inspired to think and work nearly every day on creating, they are not waiting for “Aha” moments but develop their creativity diligently. 

Creativity can be cultivated and innovators are among us; how to set the right innovator index/parameters, identify and empower innovators to unlock collective human potential.

Unconventional Thinking: Innovators are often unconventional thinkers who can identify hidden patterns, see things differently and do things in a different way. Because you need to have the level of curiosity, desire to learn, observe, with the natural ability to maintain an open and inquisitive mind. While conventional wisdom has a negative connotation about sticking to the outdated concepts, traditions, cultures, or the old ways to do things. 

Practicing unconventional thinking takes a certain mental, psychological and conditional chemistry to get out of the conventional thinking box, break away from thoughts that others have thought about, leverage emergent, divergent, and convergent thought processes to ignite creativity. In the organizational setting, if we all stayed in a box and didn't believe things exist outside of our box, there's no room to broaden our thoughts and stimulate creativity. Thus, it's critical to set heterogeneous teams to mind cognitive differences, spark creativity and make true progress.

Interdisciplinary knowledge/Learning plasticity: Nowadays, the territories of knowledge domains have blurred, interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding are critical to wider dots connection, stimulate imagination and catalyze more innovation of the disruptive type. At present, we cannot separate knowledge and creativity if we want to stay competitive. So identify creative problem-solvers by assessing their cross-disciplinary knowledge and professional skills to come up with better solutions.

Knowledge is not isolated, to gain an in-depth understanding of a problem, shape a new box across knowledge domains that could be used for expanding your thoughts about the problem, or examining a situation from multiple angles. Today's digital leaders or professionals must have the humble attitude to admit known unknown and unknown unknown, and keep learning. A creative mind with learning plasticity is able to absorb all necessary knowledge and adjust its thinking processes according to changes in its environment. To nurture more creative types of people and an innovative workforce, interdisciplinary knowledge becomes more important to integrate multi-core talent, nonlinear skills into innovative capabilities.

Inquisitiveness: Innovators can be spotted by demonstrating intellectual curiosity to ask thought-provoking questions or generate novel ideas to solve problems alternatively. Overloaded information, outdated knowledge, or old experience often stifles creativity. People who innovate are pro-change and not afraid to challenge conventional understanding of issues and they have the unlimited curiosity to ask questions, clarify logic, open minds and connect dots to reframe the problems and solve them alternatively. Spot those innovators who can ask deep questions, learn both broadly and deeply, shift gears in their day to day work, produce more ideas and have more unusual connectivity to spark creativity.

Innovators are at their very heart visionaries who also have determination, dedication, passion and curiosity, inspiration, and motivation. Inquisitiveness leads to vision and spark creativity. Sometimes, shaping the right questions is perhaps more important than providing some single-minded answers. Most good ideas emerge from interactions, not single individuals. The good question is usually open and thought-provoking, boosts energy or generates creative tension, and brings a multifaceted perspective to encourage innovative problem-solving.

Creative practices: Having knowledge is a good thing, but imagination is the wing underneath innovation. spot and recognize innovators who can rise above hierarchy and take on a new set of creative activities that have them involved in maximizing the full potential of the organization. Make people feel more comfortable with chaos, uncertainty, and ambiguity. - Allow time for play and experimentation. Debating, sharing, and exploring what to do with that knowledge and connecting disparate ideas that don't seem to fit together naturally will lead to innovation.

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 via intellectual engagement or creative problem-solving. Creative people use specific systems, thought processes, and continuous practices to be creative. - with the ability to make unusual connections; the tendency to constantly question. Provide intellectual challenges to stimulate thinking and help people make progress. Learn to forget what you have been "educated" in the past. Start using the other half of the brain for a change. Learn to trust and follow your gut feelings to capture insight.

Resilience: Innovation is best conceived when you've stepped out from the comfort zone or known to embrace the unknown with risk intelligence. Innovation is risky, resilience enables people to press on and persevere despite difficult circumstances. Resilience is about a human or organization being able to maintain its recognizable essential characteristics in the face of "disruption" -be able to fail fast and fail over. Spot innovators by assessing their risk appetite, risk attitude, and risk intelligence. Of course, innovators intend to solve problems, it takes courage to tolerate risks for innovations by breaking through or pushing things forward.

Innovative leaders and professionals must have a resilient mindset in order to adapt to the continuous disruption either in career or personal life. It’s about restructuring your professional or life journey integrating the change in some way that works. That could look like "bouncing back" or it could look like growing around obstacles. It's also about being able to keep working and focusing, even during stress and disturbances, to keep practicing creativity for solving problems large or small.

Being innovative requires thinking outside the conventional box, practicing creative thinking, adding value differently, changing the frame of reference to create previously undiscovered solutions. Spot innovators who are comfortable to be different, think differently ,question insightfully; whose work can make a unique influence and lead transformative changes; who can take alternative ways to solve old or emergent problems creatively.


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