The main reason why innovation management is such a hot topic for soloists is because it dramatically assists in leapfroging competitors as opposed to relentlessly playing their game and being at their mercy. Innovation often opens new markets and can be a fantastic new source of revenue.
What characteristics or conditions are conducive to innovation?
1. Childlike behaviour
Brilliant ideas don’t come from being overly “serious” and rational. Many spectacular ideas come from those crazy, wild suggestions with a healthy dose of childlike inquisition. It’s important to surround yourself with people who not only possess this trait, but also allow you to indulge in such behaviour comfortably.
2. No money
Not having any (or barely any) money when aspiring to innovate is perfect. We have a very unique perspective on things when we are forced to think of how to accomplish something without access to funds. We are forced to think of alternatives that allow us to make something work at a fraction of the cost. And these alternatives, being by nature unique from the mainstream, usually make a large impact if you manage to hit the spot.
3. Hunger to create
The desire to innovate must stem from a deep passion to create something extraordinary and genuinely make an impact. Naturally it should be commercially viable, but if the hunger is solely for money, power or status it won’t really allow you to be at your creative best and the result won’t be as inspirational.
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Innovation management is tough because there are numerous hurdles to overcome. Because you are doing something new and uncommon, you’ve first got to convince people that your idea is worthwhile pursuing so you can garner the necessary support, you’ll face a range of obstacles/setbacks when designing your innovative work and you’ll be challenged to educate your target market to pique their interest and have them show their appreciation of your genius via financial reimbursement. All these hurdles require a very generous measure of optimism. You’ve always got to see the bright side when times get tough (and they will, guaranteed).
5. Calm state of mind
We are at our creative best when we are composed, relatively content and at times, excited about something. If we are distressed, our creative mind is closed and our thinking is severely limited. Being in a calm state of mind is achieved when engaging in those things that make us feel at peace with ourselves (and the world). Going for a walk, taking a shower, sitting in a park, playing a round of golf or weaving through the long, windy streets out in the countryside usually place us in a reflective and calm state. Best to make sure some sort of note taking technology is handy regardless of how adventurous you want to be!
It’s important to keep in mind that the innovative process is a journey. Stamina is usually of great importance when embarking upon any journey. All the above ideals would be irrelevant if stamina wasn’t present in the innovator.
So, what technique(s) will you use to stimulate your next innovative quest?