Are you an innovative leader? To answer that, we must first be able to answer the question: what is innovation?
In the past, I used to hear the word innovation and I would shut down a bit. Seriously. I never considered myself “innovative.” I would call myself a problem solver or someone who could brainstorm, but I wasn’t innovative.
Several years ago I realized that I had the wrong definition of innovation.
Today we are going to clear up the confusion and misconceptions we all have about what innovation truly is. Then over the course of this month, we are going to talk about why innovation is valuable to your organization and the 3 steps you must take to consistently innovate in your role.
The first thing we must do is eliminate any preconceived notions we have about the word “innovation.” I don’t know about you, but when I used to hear the word, I would think of the inventions that have changed our lives. From the lightbulb to the automobile, to the iPhone, this is where my brain immediately went. From that point, I thought, “Yeah that’s not me.” I quickly told myself I was not innovative and I moved on.
I got it wrong.
Innovation isn’t solely the ability to create something brand new that no one has ever created. It’s simply the ability to make something better. If you think about it the lightbulb was simply a new way to create light, we always had candles and lamps prior to the lightbulb. For automobiles, we had horse-drawn carriages. For the iPhone, we had the mobile phone and the wall phone.
I realized that something else always came first.
Remember that an invention or new innovation came about because someone had an idea simply to make a current product better.
Once I adopted this new definition, I realized that I was an innovative leader; which means so are you. You make things better every single day. You look at data, get feedback, understand the changes in the industry and customer landscape, and you try new things. That, my friend, is innovation.
It’s time to embrace this new definition and step into your identity of being an innovative leader. Spend this next week looking around you and confirming that yes, you are innovative. You do focus on making things just a bit better each time you make adjustments at work.
Next week we are going to talk about why innovation is critical in your organization. Why you want to be innovative, why you must be seen as innovative, and why you must do this process consistently.
Ready to step into your new identity of being an innovative leader? Start by grabbing your free workbook here!