This word "innovation" we hear every where these days. We hear about innovation when media is talking about Steve Jobs, which is a lot lately due to his untimely death and a biography about him that has come out. This also comes up a lot when businessmen are talking about how important innovation is to their survival. Politicians have joined the bandwagon when they talk about how to create good jobs.
But no one talks about how do you actually innovate? Are you born with it, or do you need to nurture certain skills that lead to innovation, or it is very complex to really explain?
According to a recent book that came out recently called "Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators," by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton Christensen, they talk about the five skills that they have found in their research that innovators exhibit. (Note, Clayton Christensen's book, "Innovators Dilemma" was Steve Jobs favorite business book.)
First, you need to cultivate the courage to innovate, then you need to practice these four behavioral skills: questioning, observing, networking and experimenting. These four behavioral skills are the catalyst for associative thinking that results in innovative business ideas.
They cite numerous examples of Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Marc Beniof, Larry Page, etc. to support their research. After reading this book, you really understand how innovative ideas occur, but the main things innovators separate themselves from others is their courage. This is what gets them started and ultimately finish it against odds.
In future parts, I will look into each skill in more detail and give some examples of how I am coming up with different ideas around me to innovsate