Innovation Impact Lab Interview

 
Tamara Ghandour used to believe that innovation was the domain of a select few, exclusive to certain industries, or relegated to a specific job role. But, as Tamara discovered in her 25 years of work and research, everybody has the capacity to innovate. It’s a person’s unique innovation style, (which can be assessed and channeled), that can transform inertia into innovation. As organisations face increasing pressure to innovate, exactly how to make it happen remains a mystery to many. Tamara’s book will resonate with those who recognise that being more innovative is their ticket to being indispensable, and with leaders under pressure to build a culture of innovation without knowing how.

 

What was the impetus behind writing this book? What problem did you observe that made you feel the book was needed?

I wrote Innovation is Everybody’s Business because I wanted to give everyday people, the ones doing the work at all levels of an organization, the framework and tools to become Everyday Innovators. It’s an ability we all have, and for most of it just requires a new understanding of our own innate skills and the framework to bring it to life. At an individual level being an innovator helps you grow your value, results, and satisfaction in your work. At the team level, it helps build high-performing teams of innovators that collaborate and win. At the organizational level, human-centered innovation is your greatest competitive advantage in a crowded, ever-changing marketplace.

Why is it important for individuals to determine their own unique innovation style?

The trap so many of us fall into is believing that innovation has to look and feel a certain way. You see someone on the cover of a magazine with the title “disruptor,” or a leader at work you admire and you mimic them – their morning routine, their behaviors, and their actions. But it doesn’t work, only validating that innovation is hard, exhausting, and not for me, or my team. But, the reason you failed at unlocking innovation isn’t that you “don’t have a creative bone in your body,” it’s because you tried to innovate in a way that doesn’t work for you. In my twenty-five years of work in the innovation field, and in combining neuroscience, behavioral psychology and change principals, I discovered one simple truth: being innovative is universal, we all do it. However, how we innovate is unique to each of us. We each have what I call, an Everyday Innovator™ style, that encompasses your natural, powerful and unique innovation talents. Understanding how you innovate, your style of innovation, is your gateway to performing at your peak, igniting innovation and having a strong and valued voice in the world. You’ll never realize your full innovator potential trying to mimic someone else; in fact, you’ll only sabotage your efforts. What makes you innovative is what makes you unique, and that is your highest value.

Each team also has its own style of innovation that is a culmination of all the innovator styles combined. That collective style can be a team’s greatest advantage if understood and leveraged.

 

“The trap so many of us fall into is believing that innovation has to look and feel a certain way…however, how we innovate is unique to each of us.”

 

How can people with very different innovation styles work together effectively? [ read more at Innovation Impact Lab ]