Roadmap to Innovative Credibility
One after the other: articles, books, narratives and peers tell you to be creative. You are being fed the idealism that you need to be innovative to stand out -authenticating your identity through building a creative mind. I was puzzled why I could not find any guidance on this and hence I'm seeking to build your progressive education in the niche field of innovation and creativity. In doing so, I hope to create an ecosystem in which your authenticity is your competitive advantage.
Innovation is commonly explained as “the commercial application and successful exploitation of an idea”. So what does this mean to someone who is about to start making clear career choices? Also, how do you align your career path with innovation?
As on the diagram below, I have created a lifecycle matrix that is similar to the product lifecycle. It shows that the 'road to innovative credibility' involves four phases -Incubation, Growth, Maturity and Mentorship. In each phase or segment, I'll look at relevant techniques as well as tips and tools that could be applied to sculpt and develop your innovative mind.
PHASE 1 - INCUBATION
This is typically where students and young professionals would start the journey. You would discover the robust version of your creativity and innovation relative to your career plan: it is also at this phase where you mould, build and construct your innovation identity. You will need to step out of your comfort zone and really become uncomfortable in order to succeed.
Problem-solving becomes a great stimulus for unlocking innovative thinking and finding a mentor can offer major support and encouragement. A good example of this is a recent case study initiative of learning: this shows how you should attempt problem solving.
The key to advancing in this phase is to constantly remind yourself that innovation needs to be fun, you need to become diverse in your thought patterns as well as collaborate with your peers.
Tips and Tools for Phase 1: Try lots of different ways to solve problems by identifying the required output and then doing some scenario planning to come up with ways of achieving the required result. Identify things that inspire and excite you -things you would do without expecting a reward. Record your dreams and act on them by creating a vision board so that you can track your progress. Ensure that you surround yourself with innovation by using a 5-question principle as explained by Tim Ferris in
his masterpiece “The 4 day work week”. Ask 5 questions in sequence in order to answer the previous until you get to an innovative answer.
As depicted above, innovation guru, Gary Hamel, suggests a number of human capabilities that contribute to your competitive success. Gary highlights that millenovators (millennial innovators) are famous for 0% obedience, thus indicating that leadership and mentorship is necessary at this early stage of innovative development.
PHASE 2: GROWTH
To continue reading this article, subscribe to the FREE February issue of The Future CFO Magazine.