How Do I Become an Innovator?


Do you think of yourself as an innovator? Most people have a sense of creativity that's just waiting to be brought to the surface. Once that creativity bubbles up, it leads to new insights and better problem solving skills. Here are a few ways you can tap into an innovative mindset.

Open Yourself Up to New Experiences

Rather than assume your talents are innate, consider that your skills might actually be the result of practice. This is called a growth mindset, and it can open you up to new hobbies and experiences. Learn a new language, try out a new sport, or practice a new trade. Talk to new people and explore unfamiliar territory. Don't feel discouraged by failures and setbacks. Just focus on learning and experiment. Those new interests are vital to innovation, as they introduce you to new concepts and ideas.

Learn to Identify Patterns

Taking an experimental approach to life is just the start. Once you open yourself up to plenty of new experiences, make it your goal to spot patterns and draw connections. This might involve noticing similar theories in different industries and fields or simply observing patterns in human behavior.

One part of innovation is about bringing together existing concepts to produce surprising results. An ability to recognize patterns and make connections can help you achieve this.

Always Ask Questions

Kids are full of questions – "Why is the sky blue?" "How does a bike work?" "Why do I have to brush my teeth?" If you've spent time with a child, you're well aware that the list of inquiries can go on and on.

They're curious about how things work and why the world is the way it is. To become an innovator, take a cue from the kids and make a habit of asking more questions. It's especially important to challenge your existing assumptions and try to imagine things from a different point of view. Investigate new ideas and reexamine the status quo — you just might stumble upon paths that other people have overlooked.

Get to Know Yourself

Everyone has a unique innovator style, and getting in touch with that style can help you tap into your creative process. LaunchStreet offers an Innovation Quotient Edge Assessment (IQE) to make this step easy. The questionnaire is designed to reveal your hidden strengths, so you can adopt a more innovative approach to life. The assessment will identify you as the following:

  • Collaborative
  • Experiential
  • Fluid
  • Futuristic
  • Imaginative
  • Inquisitive
  • Instinctual
  • Risk Taker
  • Tweaker

Each style excels at an aspect of innovation. For example, a fluid person finds ideas in uncharted territory and excels at shedding light on the ambiguous. A futuristic person is always focused on what possibilities lie ahead. And inquisitive people have a relentless drive to ask questions and allow their sense of curiosity to guide them through situations.

Once you learn to be an innovator, you'll be an invaluable member of any team. However, you don't have to be the sole creative force in your group. Surround yourself with creative people and exchange ideas until you come up with novel solutions.