The Idea Dude

CONNECTING THE DOTS ONE AT A TIME

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The keys to successful innovation...

Here are some thoughts on what makes some people more successful innovators than others.

Firstly, it is curiosity..without which you will never take the road less travelled. The wisdom behind that thinking is that if you do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten. It is one of the key traits that I look for when hiring anyone. I need people who ask "what if?" or "why" and even "why not?". These are the people who refuse to bow to stone walls and serpent pits because their tenacity to overcome will almost always mean that they will find a way.

Secondly, it is courage...many innovations and inventions are not obvious to the general masses. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and promote an idea even though many may not believe. (It also takes a lot of courage to admit that the road on which you are travelling is actually not technically or fiscally a good idea). I believe many great ideas are lost because people have been afraid of being ridiculed and yet one great idea implemented is worth a thousand scorned because it is innovation that is the fuel for technology advancement whether it is by evolution or revolution. Initiating is the taking the first step and it is always the hardest one to take. Once taken, the next thousand steps are infinitely easier. Going between two points requires walking and walking is powered by continual instability.

Lastly, (I don't claim to have total wisdom so I'll limit myself to 3 concepts) it is persistence. I have seen many companies go through dark days when shareholders, customers and employees ceased to believe and yet they emerge from the darkness because of the perseverance (and perhaps stubborness) of one leader who refused to give up. I think too often (having suffered from the same condition), we give up too easily or too influenced by the opinions of others. Sometimes we forget the sun is just on the other side of the horizon and the higher we climb the mountain, the sooner we see the other side.

I intend to live by these concepts this year and this blog will serve to be my reminder...

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