For years Ive had the pleasure of studying great leaders like JFK or Martin Luther King, Great scientist like Einstein and Newton, great musicians like Coltrane and Mozart and MJ, great artist like Divinci, Picasso, Matisse and the one thing that they all have in common is that they were all innovative in their field.
They introduced the world to a new art form, they went against traditional thinking, they pushed the envelope, they did more than just think outside the box, they studied the box, understood the box, and then destroyed the box. And today we are better for it. But they are not the only ones who are capable of doing innovative things. Everyday people like you and me are doing great things all of the time, out of the box things, innovative things that are changing lives and changing the world, and it is my mission in these few minutes to teach you how you can join the ranks of these great men and women. I am going to show you the real secret to innovation.
Websters dictionary describes innovation as: a new idea, new device, or method, and I would like to add; a new philosophy or framework
In 2013 Scott Berkun in an article shares his thoughts on the word innovation. He expresses how the word innovation has been terribly misused and abused for the most insignificant of ideas. After peeling back the layers of what real innovation should look like he defines innovation as “positive change.” And I for one completely agree. For hundreds of years innovation has been set-aside for an elite group of people, yet it is something that every leader, business owner, politician, blue collar, white-collar worker, scientist, athlete, musician, and the like has sought after to add to their arsenal. Over the last 40 years in Business and technology Innovation has been the number 2 topic of interest at every seminar, conference, training session, or symposium. The number 1 topic is leadership.
Everyone wants to know 2 basic things: how to be a better leader, and how to be more innovative. Now the secret to great leadership I talk about on another video so make sure you check that out. But today we’re going to tackle the secret of innovation.
We just learned that innovation is a new idea, method, technique, or product that creates positive change. And what this means is that when your ideas, methodologies, or product creates value to others in any way, and you are willing to take the risk of sharing, effectively communicating (developing a framework), and somehow implementing those ideas, that’s innovation.
Innovation is not simply based in business and technology. New ideas and methods can be realized in the way you raise your family, to how you communicate in relationships, even how you prepare a meal. Innovation is a universal application that can be realized in every facet of our lives. But there is something holding many of us back from believing that innovation or an innovative mind is possible.
So first I want to dispel some of the myths about innovation.
Myth #1. You must have a lot of ideas to be innovative.
Wrong, Fact: Innovation is not about having a bunch of ideas, It’s about knowing which ideas to focus on and then discovering how to articulate those ideas into a valuable resource. (everyone has ideas… the most successful people know which ones to spend their time on)
Myth#2: I must be the first one
Wrong, Fact: many great innovations have been improvements on old ideas. I recently read in an article that showcased, spring-loaded chopsticks, house slippers with mops on the bottom so you clean your floors while you walk around the house. But the reality is that most of the things that we use everyday are improvements on something that was created by somebody else like your cell phone, the light bulb, the refrigerator, your car. Listen, You don’t have to be the first one, you just have to make a positive change.
Myth #3: Innovation is Expensive
Fact: Spending has little to do with results. Innovation is less about your resources but more about your resourcefulness. Most innovative products are created by putting together things that people already have at their disposal. But the most important resource is your Brain! If you got that there’s nothing you cant achieve.
Myth#4: Innovation is about the Eureka Moment
Wrong, Fact: Innovation is about dedication and commitment to a solution: Its about Work
Myth#5: Innovation is for the other guys
Wrong, Fact: innovation is for everyone and a part of everyone. It is not for the super elite its for anyone who is committed to sharing their point of view to the world.
So what is the secret to being more innovative?... Well, it starts with creative exploration. Don’t be afraid to think like a child again and explore what might be possible. Take two opposing ideas and smash them together. Dream bigger than you ever have before and don’t throw any qwerky ideas out, just set them aside and pick them up again later. Treat your ideas like legos and just start putting things together and watch them work out.
What keeps us from exploring our innovation is that we spend more time on survival than on invention and curiosity. We are more concerned with just getting by, or barely making ends meet, or just making to the next day. And less time on creativity and innovation. I believe that creativity and innovation is a muscle, and the more you work that muscle the stronger it will become.
#2 Next you must Decide what it is you want to do:
Become a better parent, create a new technology, improve on an old technology, write a better book, expand on a current philosophy, develop a new framework for something, you have to first choose something. Im always amazed by watching my youngest daughter play She has several different bins of toys. One has dolls and doll related items, another has legos and building blocks, another has cars and trucks, while other bins have arts and crafts and crayons and such. No matter where her play takes her it always starts with just one bin. If you are serious about growing your innovation muscle you have to start with deciding on a purpose and a goal. So make up your mind right now What do you want to do?!
#3 Write down your great ideas: Great ideas can sometimes be fleeting, as quickly as you can think of it, you can just as quickly forget it. We have thousands of thoughts swimming through our head daily, and its impossible for us to remember them all, that’s why God made pen and Paper. One reason that writing things down is important is because our memories aren't as good as we think they are. How often have you had a great idea at the beginning of the day and by the end of the day you don't even remember remotely what it could've possibly been. Our minds are filled with all kinds of ideas, and distractions. There are many variables constantly competing for our attention, which makes remembering one small idea all the more difficult. Francis Bacon, Sr. says, “Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” The reality is that some ideas don’t stick around for very long; they come and go like the wind. Without writing things down, we could miss a small but very significant idea that we should be pursuing. Start today; Start right now!
#4 Share your great ideas: whose on your team and in your life that you can bounce these ideas off of and get some great feedback. Nothing is too hard when you have help. We are greater with a collective of minds and their input.
A great team member will support your ideas, while also offering additional creative ways to reach your goals. They can offer positive criticism and inventive solutions. They bring specific skills and knowledge that you lack
And most important they will challenge you and hold you accountable to your goal.
You see, The synergy of a team that enjoys working together will foster an atmosphere of creativity and innovation. I’ve learned that Success is a collaborative effort, and you need all the pieces working together to reach your goal.
No matter what, don't make the mistake of trying to navigate the terrain on your own. If you want to be successful you must surround yourself with likeminded people, and together you will change the world.
#5 Pursue your great ideas: put them to action and see if it works, see how it works in the real world. Research what it will take to make it happen, then make it happen. Don’t just trash a great idea because you feel like you can’t do it, because you can! Put some legs to it, see if it works. Try it out on your friends and neighbors, test drive it.
The first part of innovation is creative exploration but the second component of innovation is action. Don’t just think it, or write it, do it!
And then do it again, fine tune it, and do it again.
Innovation and creativity is in the palm of your hand all you have to do is work that muscle and then put those ideas into action.
You can do this, you will do this, and I believe in you.
Im Daryl Black reminding you to live with passion, live with purpose, and make a difference.