Developing innovation skills requires more than ‘learning on the job’. All too often we get enrolled in training initiatives and we might even get out with good intentions of changing our way of working but the reality is that change is sticky. It requires endured effort but also a context that nurtures you and offers a reflection. Not everyone learns in the same manner and many L&D programs fail to acknowledge that or chose to ignore it based on required resource efficiencies. So, what’s a better approach then?
Mindset, skillset and toolset for innovators
First of all, let’s investigate when peak performance happens when you execute work. You work in a certain way because:
- You WANT to work like this. You believe it is meaningful, consistent, transparent or whatever your set of values holds
- You are ABLE to work like this. You know how to do it in an efficient and effective manner
- You are EQUIPPED to work this. You have the tools and means to do it in a proper way
This mix is typically being referred to as the 3 pillars of successful task execution. To make it more practical for an innovation setting, let’s deconstruct each of them.
A set of beliefs, a way of thinking, how you perceive things. Your mental attitude determines your behavior and outlook and how you will interpret and respond to situations.
- Be curious; listen and try to understand (rather than checking out). Be empathic with problem owners without pitching your solution. Dig deeper to understand behavior and hidden needs
- Be adaptive to context and continually change to meet the challenges of complex conditions. Question yourself and validate your assumptions often. Change your mind based on new insights
- Think of growth in possibilities, synergetic partnerships, product roadmaps. Be ambitious
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