Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Innovator's DNA

We are having a lovely rain day today. The gardens need it.

I read a great book by Clay Christensen, Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersen called The Innovator's DNA - Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators.

Christensen is one of the great thinkers of our time. Start by reading his book - Innovators Dilemma where he explains what disruptive innovation is. The Innovator's DNA builds on his many previous books by laying out the skills needed to innovate. He not only explains the skills but gives hope that anyone can learn them and explains how.

The 5 skills:

1 - Associate. Innovators associate previously unconnected things to come up with products or ideas. Innovators apply ideas from completely different areas to their field.

2 - Questioning. I have long been an advocate of the "How" question. I think people are sometimes frustrated by my questioning the status quo. This would be why the 5 Why's process of improvement works. I even wrote an article on the power of questions on Ezine.

"Question the Unquestionable" Ratan Tata - Tata Group

3 - Observing. "Observation is the biggest game changer" - Scott Cook - founder of Intuit (I have met Scott a few times and he is one of the nicest person you could want to meet. I say this and I do not even like accounting) Obviously learning is greatest when things are observed.

4 - Networking. Again, something I do naturally. It would be one of my greatest strengths.

5 - Experiment. This, for me, would be summed up by my Fail Often, Fail Fast, Fail Cheap mantra that I always say.

I would rate very highly on the innovation chart. If anything, I need to focus more.

One final quote from the book:

"Innovators like to work for other innovators"

Perhaps that is why whole companies seem to attract high innovation people.


At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Susan said...

Questioning is always on the list of any innovator. They have to be critical about the way things are currently being done, the better to open people's minds to the possibility that there are other and better ways to explore.

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous supervisor training said...

Hmm this sounds like an interesting book. I may have to check it out... there is always room for improvement when it comes to leadership! Thanks for sharing!


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