Three things that create innovation

Innovation is the force that drives human progress. It has taken us out of the cave and into the cloud. Today the pace of change is faster than ever, which unfortunately means that almost everything we do now, no matter how brilliant, is soon going to be out-dated. 2017’s world’s best practice isn’t going to cut it in 2020.

The way to avoid being left behind is to innovate. That’s easy to say, but how do you do it? Innovation starts with ideas, and ideas come from us. And I mean ‘us’. Having met hundreds of inventors and innovators while hosting ‘The New Inventors’ I can tell you that innovators are not a special, select breed that have something special the rest of us lack. We all have the capacity to come up with innovative ideas, but innovators do three things better than the rest of us:

1. They think really hard about ways to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities. They turn their phones off, stare out the window and think. Not all day, but for a part of every day. And if they go three days without having an idea, they try again on the fourth. And eventually the ideas come.

2. When they have ideas, they value them. No one knows whether an idea is any good at first. Every great idea starts out sounding like a stupid, weird idea. There only way to find out if it is any good is to grow it, nurture it, and see how big it can get.

3. They use their ideas. They develop them, test them, and, if they work, implement them. If one doesn’t work, they try and think of another.

Innovation is something that we can all do, and it’s something that we all should do.