The mind of innovation

As seen in the Newcastle Herald

If I had $10 for every client that I have worked with who has the word “innovation” in their values proudly displayed on their walls, I would be richer than I am now.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the focus on it and that companies have great intent. But I wonder about the level of understanding that innovation proponents have about where the behaviour of innovation comes from.

Particularly, if you are looking at increasing innovation within your business. It’s great to deliver an outcome or product from an innovative process, but how did you deliver that? What was the cause? What conditions were needed?

Most importantly, what mindsets are required within individuals to foster it to happen more?

Mindset is the secret. Any process, system, tool, technology can be replicated. The only thing that cannot is your humans and their mindsets.

Let’s take one simple example of perfectionistic thinking.  If you are in an industry or an organisation that has attracted a lot of perfectionistic thinking and innovation is a core value, I hate to break the news, but under no circumstance will you live up to it without extensive shifting of the organisation’s mindset.  Under no amazing process, system or bright new idea will individuals or teams who are highly perfectionistic be highly innovative.

An interesting piece of research talks about organisations that have been through extensive mindset training and it shows a significant increase in their innovative behaviour.  They introduced more products, especially their own ideas.

The thing worth spending most of your time, money, effort and energy on is either recruiting individuals who have an innovative mindset in the first instance and/or developing an innovation mindset within the teams as a key priority.


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