Learning from history – the drivers of innovation
Almost every point in history, when there have been problems that needed solving, especially when resources were sparse we have seen wonderful innovation. Whilst we may not like the context, the second world war gives some brilliant examples – Wallis’s bouncing bomb, the wonderful methods the prisoners of war created to aid their escape plans, including making a printing press/ photocopier from Jelly (jello).
Innovation is inherent in many, many humans, so why in 2013 are we handcuffed to believing that innovation is a process? One of 3M’s most notable products and innovations is the Post-IT Note. this was not a product of process, but a product of belief by one person that followed that through to completion despite their management (Innovation drivers – the post it note )
Time to focus on the people aspects of innovation drivers
Dr Jacqueline Byrd continued the research into Risk Taking and Creativity and discovered the seven drivers of innovation at a cultural and behavioural level. It is said that to change the culture of an organization with respect to its innovative capacity, individuals and teams need to look to developing or changing their profile towards these drivers. A focussed change if you like.
Putting Innovation drivers into practice
Certainly in some of the organizations we have worked with from international construction through to finance (where it really is risk adverse) these methods do make tangible differences. Small changes are often all that is needed.
Knowing that innovation is a function of creativity and risk taking does little in terms of adding value. That is, what value is there if I tell you that you need to become more creative or take more risks? Through rigorous qualitative and quantitative research methods, The Creatrix Team has isolated the Seven Drivers that influence innovative abilities.
The Innovation drivers are:
Ambiguity: Able to operate with uncertainty and vagueness—don’t require high structure, goals, or objectives to accomplish or create things, ideas, services, or products.
Independence: Not subject to the control or influence or determination of another or others—are not willing to subordinate themselves—don’t like to be managed
Inner-Directed: Determine their own expectations and norms—march to their own drummer
Uniqueness: Appreciate and value differences—value uniqueness in both self and others
Authenticity: Being what you purport to be: genuine—“walk your talk”—“tell it like it is”
Resiliency: The capacity to spring back, rebound and to successfully adapt and learn even in the face of adversity and stress
Self-Acceptance: Approving and/or satisfied with your behaviors or actions—“like yourself”
In order to become more innovative using the Creatrix model, then individuals and teams need to improve on their creativity and risk taking drivers. Identifying what driver(s) to develop in the context of the culture of the organization is key to success. For example, there is no point trying to develop “uniqueness” in a franchise operation or an environment where consistency or conservativism is king, but improving how the individual or team deal with “ambiguity” may give the edge.
For more information on using the Creatrix innovation Inventory