How To Be Innovative: Stop Saying, "I'm Not Innovative Enough!"

How To Be Innovative

People today are asking how to be innovative.

“Being innovative is universal, we all do it. However how we innovate is unique to each of us.”

I know not what you expected me to say right? You were probably expecting me to talk about some magical gifts that are bestowed to certain people. Gifts that the rest of us can only hope to get a glimpse of.

Fortunately for all of us, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In order to dig into what makes you innovative, I need to start by debunking one of the biggest myths in innovation that is probably holding you back from unleashing your rock star innovator.

Big Fat Myth:

Being innovative is something that is for the chosen few. The Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, JK Rawlings of the world. We think this because they are the ones on the cover of the magazines constantly being held up on pedestals for their rare talents.  In truth they have greatly impacted many of our lives and are rare birds. Not because they are more innovative than the rest of us but because they took massive action on their ideas.

But do you know who else is innovative?

The night janitor that realized why the machines in the factory he cleaned kept producing faulty products at certain times. Not the engineers or scientists behind the work, the man that empties the trash bins and takes the train to and from work who realized one day while waiting for the train that the train zooming by creates a slight vibration that goes undetected by humans in the factory but was enough to mess up the machines.

It’s been my experience that what makes someone innovative isn’t their natural ability, it’s their desire to put that ability into practice. In fact, research has shown that innovation isn’t a matter of an overdeveloped creative right brain versus the logical left brain. In fact what research shows is that innovation is a whole brain process, proving we are all capable of it.

20 plus years of work and research went into the creation of the Innovation Quotient Edge.

It’s our proprietary assessment that helps people and organizations discover their unique Innovator Archetype and harness that natural power to go further, faster. Once you know how you innovate you can play to your strengths, tap that wellspring of innovation inside of you and innovate on demand.

I discovered in my work and research that there are nine triggers to innovation and it’s the combination of your top two power triggers and the presence of your dormant trigger that come together to create your unique Innovator Archetype. When you know how to be innovative, especially yourself, you can see how it becomes much easier to put that knowledge into action.

There is much more depth to each of these Innovator Archetypes and I encourage you to take the 7-minute assessment and discover how you can tap your greatest asset - innovative mind to perform at your peak and let the innovative ideas for your work and life flow.

If you are a person that believes in self improvement and want to learn how to be more innovative then click HERE.

Otherwise, here is a brief overview of each trigger:

  • Collaborative: constantly tapping disparate people and ideas; creating intersections of random

  • Experiential: think in motion; bring ideas to life by leap the chasm from theory to reality

  • Fluid: turn ambiguity into clarity; uncharted territory is your path to new ideas

  • Futuristic: always thinking about what's next; energized by future possibilities instead of today's challenges

  • Imaginative: vivid mind that is always creating new things; ability to turn wild thinking into real world ideas
  • Inquisitive: highly curious; recognize innovation is in the questions, not the answers

  • Instinctual: tap the more intuitive part of your mind; connect dots in new and meaningful ways

  • Risk Taker: adventurous spirit willing to take bold action; willing to pursue unproven yet high potential ideas

  • Tweaker: always looking for ways to improve and change; give ideas time to grow because you don't judge too early

When you read the Innovator Archetypes, which two made you think, “that totally sounds like me!” Now think about this - if you knew for sure, how would you turn that knowledge into everyday practice?

Let me give you a personal example.

I’m an Experiential - Risk Taker. Those are my two power triggers. That means I’m always willing to go to that uncomfortable zone to try new things and in order to innovate I have to put my ideas into motion. I used to try to think through ideas in my head, maybe even a conversation with someone else. But, once I discovered I was an Experiential - Risk Taker, I realized that I had to literally make my ideas physical to be able to innovate against them. When they were only in my head I’d continually hit a brick wall and they’d go nowhere. But, when I grabbed some scented markers, blank paper, and sometimes duct tape, I could see my ideas and be even more innovative. It’s a small but powerful shift. My desk always has some weird mock up sitting on it. Some end up in the trash and some move to the next stage, but I’ve learned that putting ideas into motion brings out incredible innovation in myself in a way that “thinking it through” never could.

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