Hey Innovators let's talk about innovator mindset.
We keep hearing the same words over and over again – innovation, innovator, agile thinker, lean startup, design thinking expanding our horizons. Ugh! What on earth does it mean?
Let’s go back to reset and define Innovation. Innovation simply means continuous improvement, a way to produce new value. Very different than inventive, where it’s completely new. This is about innovation, taking something existing and refreshing it to provide new elements. This is where we get to be unapologetically curious and look at things with a new set of eyes.
How do you train people to think outside the box? It’s such a mindset shift. When we grow up, we are expected to do certain things (i.e. get married, have kids, get an education, save for the future). What about training people to say that it’s okay to go off course? The best way to really develop thought leaders is to embrace the notion of curiosity. Allow your teams to develop points of views, challenge the norm and provide them with a valued voice.
It’s interesting to me, how the Imposter Syndrome has become a growing syndrome that is impacting so many individuals. Imposter Syndrome is basically self-doubt. We all have this and experience it. I did a podcast episode (E84) & blog about how feeling like an imposter is a competitive advantage. It’s called I’m an Imposter and let me Roar! I’ve also created a Free Imposter Syndrome Cheat Sheet to overcome this self-doubt.
It’s quite the paradox – be adventurous and overcome imposter syndrome, and follow the organizational rules & expectations. Organizations and Individuals need to start to create time for innovation and creativity. We need to get from reactive mode to a proactive mode. The challenge is that we are not given enough time to think, only time to react.
Here are a few tips to slowly start to shift a little bit of your thinking.
The innovator mindset is to:
- Embrace Curiosity and become a Learn It All – explore different dimensions/avenues. What tools do you have at your disposal? List them out and also think about the non-traditional tools. Books/podcasts/free webinars/ articles/ talking to people across different industries. You know, I had a client that put me on retainer, just to brainstorm with. She’d have a few ideas and wanted to bounce it off all the wall and see what other elements could give it legs. Don’t dismiss the idea of talking to others and listening to understand where they are coming from. It might provide the perfect ‘AHA’ moment.
- Encourage Points of View. A lot of individuals have thoughts but are afraid to provide their point of view (PoV), because it won’t be inline with the ‘status quo’. Encourage and reward people for having ½ baked points of views. They will gain experience and courage to develop full points of view. No point of view is perfect. Think about all those folks that put out 2020 trends, they are just an opinion, a point of view.
- Failure – companies and individuals need to define their tolerance of risk. How far can you go in terms of failure? Encourage people around you to really test early, with minimal risk. Allow people to help develop the idea with you. You can start to test early and re-jig things based on feedback. It’s a perfect way to do a temperature check (just putting a toe in the water, to see what the temperature is).
- When developing solutions/services/concepts offer three (3) options. Give something for your leaders to react to. Present a conservative approach, a crazy out of this world approach and a hybrid of the two (2) approach. One of these crazy ideas
Management Consultants have been using these approaches for years. Some of these concepts have been re-marketed under the umbrella of Design Thinking. These are classics that have worked for centuries! They just change the names to make them a little more ‘glamorous’.
So, I challenge you.
What are you interested to learn more about (Learn it All), what are you curious about?
As promised, here is that little gift that I have for you.
FREEBIE ALERT: Free Imposter Syndrome Cheat Sheet to overcome this self-doubt
Thank you so much for your time.
If you know someone that could benefit from this episode/blog, feel free to share with others. Drop me a line anytime, I love hearing from you.
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