What is the difference between someone who generates ideas and one who successfully innovates based on an idea? Being a successful innovator has to do with one’s ability to be a “rainbow thinker”, someone who can think in multiple layers, continuously shifting and variable seeing multiple options at the same time. Do you have what it takes to innovate? Here are nine characteristics of successful innovators.
• Curiosity is the basic component in innovation. It makes the person question the status quo, seek new approaches and explanations and devise new solutions and pursue new possibilities. Not limiting themselves to the superficial aspect of things, they probe delve, imagining novel alternatives and paradigms.
• Risk-taking and critical thinking. But simply a curious and imaginative mentality does not an innovator make. It is necessary to be able to embrace risk and to be able to recognize the real possibilities of failure. Our experience with a number of our clients who are evaluating their leadership succession strength has revealed that many experienced managers, who have had to work their way up the ladder, become averse to risk with increasing stakes.
• Resilience and Self-Control. It is necessary that an innovation driven culture clearly acknowledge and build its function around the fact that many attempted innovations shall meet with failure. Many managers simply can’t digest that, trying to negate any attendant risk and seeking a 95% guarantee that the proposed idea is actually going to hit off . this kills off rather than promotes innovation.
• Interpersonal Skills. Great innovative projects often frizzle out due to the failure to coordinate and communicate around the idea. This happens when the organizational charge is in the hands of the best techies rather than the best leaders. These technically oriented managers suppose that the innovative idea will automatically generate interest and motivation, and when they do try and communicate they do not try to attune their language to the sensibilities of their audiences, leaving them mystified.
• Collaboration. Innovate requires collaboration and teamwork. This is not a project specific endeavor but a spontaneous and continuous aspect of the work ethic. Best innovation proceeds from collective brain storming and a coordinated approach.
• Dealing with Problems and Continuously Evolving. A final key element is the ability to handle complexity and adapt accordingly without wasting undue time. It is imperative to be able to meet up to the constant shifts and dynamism of the markets and the challenge of competition. Innovation is incomplete if it doesn’t match up to and outpace the competition, and if contingencies throw projects off track.
Assessing your actual preparedness for change and the openness to innovation are necessary to ensure your business is innovation driven. If you yourself are more of an idea generator than an innovator, then all is not lost. Simply surround yourself with people who have the above characteristics. For if you do not have the proper people and the right environment to implement your business plan, your innovative vision will remain a dream.