The word “innovate” comes from the Latin word innovates, which is the noun form of innovare “to renew or change,” stemming from in—”into” + novus—”new”.
So innovation is based on looking at things in a new way but to deliver something that adds value, this could be a product, a process, an application or a business approach. By definition ‘Innovation’ is a creative process, it requires thought to be freed from the trammels of operational day to day pressure so it is not something that can be performed on demand at a specific time. Often innovative ideas come at the strangest times, on a train, in the shower or driving.
10 Ways to Enhance your (IQ) “Innovation Quotient”
- Think about the innovative ideas you have had over the years, this could be at work or at home in the workshop, remember how that felt – ‘the eureka moment’
- How many times did you have a great idea and a few months later you saw a product or a service based on it? It wasn’t stolen but its the difference between ‘acting’ and ‘not acting’
- The more innovative we are, the more innovative we become – like a muscle, exercising your creative/innovative side makes ideas come more often
- When you have an idea write it down and capture the salients, do a quick mind-map and revisit it a day later to breath life into the idea, transitory ideas often just drift away
- Test your idea with other people, bounce it off them and see what they think but do Point 4 first otherwise you risk them blowing it away or plagiarising it
- Evaluate the benefits, create a mini business case, to get people to buy into your idea they will need to see the pay-back
- Make it visually appealing and compelling, would Apple products be the success that they are without Steve Jobs’ obsessive attention to the casing (even the internals)
- Often innovative ideas just intuitively feel right, trust your intuition – how often has it been wrong?
- Remember its good for business – especially in the current climate. Innovation is the father of entrepreneurship – all business growth has a new idea at its foundation.
- Be fearless and tenacious, as I said in Point 2 you need to follow up with energy, enthusiasm and action – go make it happen!
6 Great Quotes on “Innovation”
- “Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity” – Michael Porter
- “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” – Steve Jobs
- “Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter
- “Innovation is creativity with a job to do” – John Emmerling
- “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it” Albert. Einstein
- “He who asks a question is a fool for 5 minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool for ever.” – Chinese Proverb