2014 May

How do you rate as an innovator?

Did you know that you can develop the skills and behaviours that lie at the heart of being innovative? To be more innovative, you have to have good habits and behave like an innovator. In their book The Innovator’s DNA, Dyer, Gregersen and Christensen state that ‘…innovative thinkers connect fields, problems, or ideas that others find unrelated’. The authors have identified four discovery skills that ‘trigger associational thinking by helping innovators increase their stock of building block ideas from which innovative ideas spring’.  The four key skills are: Questioning: innovative people always ask ‘why’ and they love to challenge the status quo Observing: innovative people pick up on the smallest of details in how people behave and the ways in which things are done giving them food for thought. Networking: innovative people invest time in linking up with people from different backgrounds and with different expertise and they learn from them. Experimenting: innovative people constantly explore new ways of doing things and experiences. These four key skills together have a mutually reinforcing impact on the fifth skill: associative thinking or the ability to make connections. Find out which habits and behaviours are already working well for you when it comes to innovation and identify those  that could do with a little work. Practise them, gain confidence and then apply them to play your own part in driving innovation. Take our short questionnaire and  “Check Your Innovator...

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Why is a box of books like a new baby?

When we received  our authors’ copies of Coaching for Innovation earlier this week , shortly after publication on 2nd May, 2104, it was an occasion for celebration. After two years of hard but enjoyable work, our “baby” had finally arrived. All we could think of was the achievement. We savoured the moment and we are now looking forward to bringing up the baby with your support and encouragement. We are grateful to all those who have helped us so far in making this birth...

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There must be a better way to cut cherry tomatoes

Creative thinking comes in many guises and can be stimulated and encouraged in ways you might never have thought were possible. Sometimes, it is simply about doing things differently. This clip on YouTube about a time-efficient way to slice cherry tomatoes has had more than four million hits. That is a lot of energy saved when making the salad! Did you realise, though, that being creative in the kitchen can have a positive impact on how creative you are in other areas of your life as well? Psychologist Dr Simone Ritter from Radboud University Nijmegen has found that even just changing the way you make your usual sandwich can help boost levels of creativity. Dr Ritter’s research featured in a BBC Horizon documentary broadcast in 2013. You can explore how you can be more creative in this interesting article on the BBC website, “Five Ways to be More Creative” By expanding your experiences and turning your daily routines on their head once in a while, your brain builds new pathways, makes new connections and becomes increasingly better at generating new ideas. In Chapter 9 of Coaching for Innovation, you can find out how to use Building Block 8 to strengthen your creative potential and that of your team as well....

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