The Innovator’s Mindset
“Don’t be a Kodak: If you are not innovating, you are being left behind.”
As the world changes so fast around us and we see economies fall, interest rates rise and climate change rush towards us in the form of hurricanes, droughts and storms, the need to prepare for this new world is clear. For us to be able to prepare we need to take active steps towards adjusting and adapting. This includes preparing our thinking, our ways of working, our products, our supply chains and the way we see the world.
At the recent South African Innovation Summit, I was reminded of the value of a deliberate innovation intention.
For the entrepreneur within us, change is exciting and invigorating after all, that’s probably the reason you became an entrepreneur – but we need to be aware that change is often alarming or may even be frightening to some members of our team, and this needs to be managed if we are to lead a business that is able to change and adapt.
The following five tips will help you and your team develop the innovator’s mindset:
1. Set a personal goal to learn something new every day. Seek knowledge outside your own area of speciality. This will keep your thinking flexible and encourage you to develop new ways of seeing the world.
2. Look for changing trends. Set a deliberate intention to observe what is happening in the world – not only in your own sector but in other industries and other countries too. Look for innovations that are working elsewhere, that could be cross-pollinated into yours.
3. Build the courage to take risk by actively stepping out of your comfort zone, in your personal and work life. Encourage your team to practise change as a normal part of living. Share stories of trying new foods, new sport and new people.
4. Use evidence to back your decisions and data to confirm you are making the right moves. Many a business (and a country) has fallen because of overconfidence and naïve decision-making that ignored the evidence. Evidence first, actions second.
5. Be clear on your goal. Avoid changes that are thrilling to the ego, but take you away from your purpose.