11:30 PM

Whenever we think about successful innovators, we see them as extraordinary gifted people. But actually this is not the case!! Anyone of us can be a first-class innovator. Innovation is more about psychology than intellect. Dr. Martin Ziarati defines the Innovator as a visionary, creative thinker, with the ability to constantly think “outside the box”.  They learn from role models and from their peers.  Some of the best innovations have come about from simplify the process, rather than reinventing the wheel!
Think outside the box
Never bound yourself to just your organisational structure, boundaries, rules and responsibilities. That is not to say, these rules and boundaries should be ignored but by nature, innovation has no boundaries and rules and it tends to create its own categories. You should be free to do as you wish when it comes to innovating and in a sense feel and see yourself as the ruler of your own destiny.
 So why not encourage and motivate yourself to think about possible new ideas and solutions. Always keep in mind that Innovation is more about psychology than intellect! Many people don’t initiate and develop new things, because they fear of failure. Remember, every failure teaches you to do things better next time. Always take a mistake as an experiment rather than failure.  Again this does say, the risk has to be assessed and minimised.  We can all learn a great deal from Thomas A. Edison who said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work“.
As a good practice, whenever a new idea strikes your mind note it down before it get erased.  Even that one that pops up in the middle of the night!!
Apply your idea in practice
Generating tons of ideas does not make sense unless you apply it in real situations. Once you have an idea, you should start doing an experiment. First of all you should create a prototype of your idea, and then plan testing it in a target market/people. Collect the feedback and make the effective changes. Thus, you can minimise the risk of a failure, and furthermore it will boost your confidence to a higher level.

A good network always helps you in every walk of life and business. It is a innovator’s key to success! It is very difficult to be a master in every subject and/or area of interest. Having a good network can help you achieve these milestones, which are extremely hard to realise if you do it alone. Start articulating problems with others and you will notice you are articulating a solution to that problem and do not be surprised if you come up with more novel ideas.
Networking does not mean just knowing many people, but knowing people with diverse backgrounds, with different skill sets and who deal with a variety of issues. Thus, you can be exposed to diverse ideas. You should spend a couple of hours every week talking to whom you do not generally talk to, such as someone to whom you met in conference or meeting or an ex-colleague. You will notice some of them will tell you something interesting, one of them may let you know something new and valuable, and that someone may give a blockbuster idea.
Ability to combine things together
The ability to merge different questions, problems or ideas together is a key to innovation. One of the big secrets of great innovators is that they always try to do things differently than use the same approaches as others.  It could be seen that the skills to think differently comes about from acting differently.  Referring to the words of Gregersen, “Anyone can become a better innovator, just by acting like one” says a great deal about thinking about innovation and can help a company or an individual to become more effective innovator(s).
One needs to simply feel like he/she is in the blue-sky and keep observing how people do things from the top and then definitely you will spot new opportunities for improvement. You can then experiment with any novel idea spotted and get feedback from the people and take it to next level where success will most probably be waiting for you.
Determination is a key to being an outstanding innovator. Sir James Dyson, is the epitome of determination in the invention of using cyclonic separation to create a vacuum cleaner. However, no manufacturer or distributor would handle his product in the UK, as it would disturb the valuable market for replacement dust bags, but somehow with very limited resources he set up his own manufacturing company. I remember Sir James Dyson, when he said he excelled in long distance running: “I was quite good at it, not because I was physically good, but because I had more determination. I learnt determination from it.” One needs to have great faith and a laser sharp focus on her/his idea and most importantly needs to do work very hard until he/she achieves his/her goals.  Innovators are hard workers with an eye for new ideas; and this is substantiated by Edison who said, “Invention is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration“,

Learn from people
Never end up with just observing people, an idle innovator should always be ready to learn from his/her competitors, so keep an eagle eye on your peers and competitors. If they are doing something interesting which could be valuable for your business, then you should not hesitate to take the idea and consider it for implementation, perhaps even with a twist on it to differentiate it!
Whenever you may go, such as a conference, project meeting or seminar, always watch how the other people do things differently and try to engage with them and discuss the issues and problems of mutual interest. Then, you will get a broader perspective of the issue or the problem and you can learn how to look at the issue or problem from different point of view/understanding.
A thought for the day from Theodore Levitt to help you become a successful innovator, “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things” and if that is not enough then as Michael Lance says” Innovation is the creation of the new or the re-arranging of the old in a new way”.

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