In the world of continuous changes and new trends it is important to have in your team, department or organization, people who think different and who approach to problem in different manner. Often, it’s difficult to recognize innovative persons. They are shy and mostly they hide their ideas in fear not to be copied. Nevertheless, with time some of their features will come along:
- Innovators have need to fulfill their inner needs
- Initiate new projects,
- break current status quo,
- open new possibilities.
- Innovators are imaginative,
- often, they are dreamers, too,
- want to transform their visions to reality,
- must be ready for failure,
- must be ready for critiques,
- find new paths,
- always build upon the first idea,
- open to changes and to adaptations on new requests.
Innovators are not innovative only inside their organizations, but also in all aspects of their lives. They will innovate in the house, in the garden, on the construction site or on the playfield, they will always have “special” ideas. If you ask yourself, you will surely find at least one innovator close to you that you didn’t ever before connect with this word (maybe it will be more correct to call them “creatives”).
True innovators are passionate in the speech about their idea and they will do anything to make their ideas happen. This passion can pull the project and the team which will make this happen even when any other leader will give up. It is enough to ask a man what it most exciting in what is he currently doing and all his passion will come to life.
Sometimes, we call Innovators as “rebels” which will not tolerate current system in their environment. They break this status quo and they should be supported in this mission as this could bring new ideas and improvement for their organization.
We can says that Innovators are the key factor for innovation success. But, how to start the system which will nurture innovation?
Innovation culture and innovation climate
High level of innovation culture is big and strong achievement which can make every organization proud, but the path to the right culture is going through the road which is called innovation climate.
Innovation ecosystem must be established inside the organization. First step to the right climate is the good support from the top, readiness to include innovations in company mission and strategy. Nest steps include internal marketing, allocating of resources and start of idea management.
Internal marketing must be gently introduced using step-by-step introducing with innovation program and process which must reach all parts of organization. Idea management demands processes and tools which must be chosen in hand with company history.
Innovation culture demands more time; it should reach everyone and all should be aware of innovation. But, when will we know have we reached certain level of innovation culture? Of course, it can be measured by the number of ideas or similar, but the right culture must be felt. Anyone could fell when the right wheels are started to roll, when ideas are coming to the system and when they are smoothly processed. When people around us start to talk about ideas, innovation engine is started.
Shortly, climate shapes environment, but the culture bring life to innovation ecosystem.
How can introvert be a successful innovation?
Half of population are introverts, but educational and organizational structures are mostly turned to extroverts. In some environments, introverts are majority, like in IT industry. Then we face the challenge how to reach this people which can be the key in innovation activities.
We work with people which sits in last rows on innovation brainstorming workshops and say no word in an hour or so. These people are closed in their own world and don’t have intention to share their ideas. But, they also can have a big idea! The big question is how to include them in innovation process?
Right away we can forget about the classical brainstorming. Idea submission must be simple and we must introduce adapted innovation challenges where everyone has the same chance to submit, but also for realization of ideas.
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Tomislav Buljubasic is innovation manager and writer interested in creativity and innovation process. He runs 7innovation.net. Follow @buljubasict