by Anthony Middlebrooks, Scott J. Allen, Mindy S. McNutt and James L. Morrison
When you think of the future of innovation, it is likely that you think about technology. Technology and innovation are closely related because major advances in technology tend to drive the largest periods of progress throughout time. Innovation would not be possible without creativity. Innovative leaders accurately read the future marketplace, continually questioning the market to iterate upon existing ideas or select new creative ideas to translate into value.
Innovation is enhanced if you understand the drivers of innovation, which include necessity, desire, and advances (in methods, materials, etc.). Innovative leaders have an understanding of how to use these drivers of innovation as a starting point to imagine future possibilities.
Innovation is a collaborative process of translating creative ideas into something of value.
The best leaders and collaborators have a clear understanding of the problem they are trying to solve. You benefit from learning how and practicing defining problems clearly. A clearly defined problem is well on its way to being solved.
Innovation is a creative process that relies on iteration and the translation of creative ideas into something of value for an organization. Many types of innovation result in value for an organization, and you can select one or more once you choose the type of value that you and your organization seek to enhance. As you look at the many creative ideas that you generate, you also use a process to find a single best solution to a problem. Selecting the one idea, out of many, to translate to value occurs through convergence. There are many convergence techniques used to help you understand a variety of ways to go about selecting an idea to pursue.
Innovative organizations are designed to support creativity. Supporting creativity requires an understanding of how creative individuals habitually think as they approach the creative process. Using design thinking dispositions as a guide to create a culture of innovation allows you to design a culture that is sympathetic to creative individuals’ characteristics and mindsets. Culture is the values and beliefs of an organization, but climate is the patterns of behavior and attitude that characterize what it is like to work within an organization. It is equally important to design culture and climate. With no one-size-fits-all approach, using the six dimensions of the brain as a way to design the climate of an innovative workplace environment is a good place to start.