Where do creativity and innovation come from? It’s an age old question: are creativity and innovation innate abilities, something you’re either born with or not, or can they be learned? While the debate continues, the data is increasingly pointing to the fact that qualities like creativity and innovation are largely learned behaviours.
The corporate industry is defined by its powerful, charismatic leaders who articulate their company's innovative measures through bold and confident public announcements. If corporate culture can be likened to the backbone of a business, then the leaders are like the vocal box. They take the reins during meetings, deliver presentations and speak at a variety of different conventions and gatherings. These individuals become the face of their industry, and would surely be described as extroverts by most.
Apple, Google and General Electric success stories centre on groundbreaking characters and geniuses. But 99% of companies worldwide are unlike any of these. Most organisations are made up of people like you and me: reasonably proficient in innovation management but surrounded by innovation agnostics. People who can share with us the tough, yet stirring mission of pushing boundaries to shape a bit of future.
How come that upper middle managers and entrepreneurs look at things in different ways? The answer lies partly in their personality types. It is known that certain personality types work better in certain situations than other. This is also valid for the innovation area, as Bengt Järrehult describes below.
This paper is a follow-up to my previous article, “The Eastern Way: How Chinese Philosophy can Power Innovation in Business Today” (June 18, 2012). The present article defines the concept of intensity in innovation, using Eastern Zen philosophy, in a way that can be useful for business while avoiding too much focus on personality traits. Zen intensity in innovation stresses intuition, sensory and physical experience/re-experience, artistry, the integration of conflicting ideas, and the avoidance of premature choices. Examples are cited from the career of the late Zen enthusiast, Steve Jobs. Regarding the use of time, the Zen approach to intensity implies a full and sustained engagement of all creative processes, not simply a rapid time to project completion.
Is it possible to identify the best innovators in an organization? Most companies know who their best performers are and this is true for almost every critical initiative except innovation. A current research initiative from Jeffery Phillips is delving deeper into the possibilities to identify the potential of an individual to be a good innovator based on shared traits. The goal is to develop a simple assessment tool that any corporation can use to identify the most talented potential innovators on its team, or to use to identify and hire new people with innovation capabilities.
Summer is for relaxing, but also for reading books in more depth. During his vacation Bengt Järrehult read Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow for the second time and more thoroughly. Here are Bengt’s thoughts on how Prospect Theory applies to innovation related decisions - the decisions that may seem stupid and irrational – but are they really?
Thinking like a designer can transform the way you approach the world when imagining and creating new solutions for the future. It’s about being aware of the world around you, believing that you play a role in shaping that world, and taking action toward a more desirable future. In my new book ‘The Innovation Expedition’ I describe the five characteristics necessary to think like a designer.
How can a companies’ ability to innovate be improved?All innovation activity can be traced back to the behavior of employees. That makes the employee the center point of attention, if you want to improve your innovation ability. This article is built around the question: Which personal abilities and traits as well as organizational culture enable an employee to be innovative?
A common misconception today is that innovators are innately creative people. Specifically, many people think that innovators are born with intuitive skills and views of the world that differsfrom the rest of the population. This is simply not true. Innovators aren’t born, they’re made. But we can learn from a few key attributes that leading innovators share.
The stereotype of an innovator is a youngster bringing his dream alive like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple. But they are not the rule. They are the exception.
In this series of three articles Paul Hobcraft explores the value of knowledge and education for innovation. Continuing the discussion, in part two the author investigates the various aspects of modern knowledge exchanges including their psychology, mechanisms and complexities that govern them.
Inspiring leadership is what we have all been led to believe creates successful businesses. The fact that history is dotted with examples of successful companies which businesses study closely for clues their own leaders can emulate, clearly shows that we believe there is a formulaic style of leadership which is key to a thriving business. If only it were that simple. Kate Tojeiro, founder of progressive leadership consultancy, X-Fusion, takes a closer look at two key types of leaders.
People who work in the nuclear power industry track their lifetime exposure to radiation as a function of the maximum allowed by law. If only a benign regulatory agency would set limits for exposure to PowerPoint presentations. Lamentably, many would learn that they have exceeded the lethal dose. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins explores a better way: one that marries the best that the virtual form of collaborative innovation can offer with the long-standing, effective approach of hosting an in person World Café.
This article shows how biomimicry can be put to effective use in designing innovative networks. It builds from similarities between the brain connectome and innovation networks to lead to a novel concept in innovation - Neuronal Innovation. This new concept shows how organizations can become proficient in deploying and using collaborative innovation.