What does it mean to be innovative? Ask any of your current employees and I guarantee you’ll get a host of different answers in response. Some view it as being creative while others believe innovation means coming up with new ideas or uncovering a new untapped market. What very few will focus on, however, is the element of risk. Without risk, very few innovative people would have succeeded.
So what’s the formula for innovation? It’s merely a combination of creativity and risk taking. Each has its own set of drivers. Creative people, for example, tend to be independent, unique, and ambiguous. Risk-takers have to be resilient and accpet themselves completely. Put these characteristics together and you’ve got the formula for a cracker-jack innovater.
The Creatrix model for innovation is a bit more complicated than I described. The folks at Creatrix developed an online questionnaire in which a series of questions determines what tyepe of orientation a person leans towards. They include challengers, innovators, practacalizers, modifiers, synthesizers, planners, sustainers, and dreamers. They believe that a person who scores highly on this test is a great innovator – or someone who can come up with a myriad of useful ideas.
You’re probably wondering why you would even bother to use this model? On an individual level, you can gain some insight about your own thought process and, as a manager, you can use the results to help guide your team, provide individiual coaching, and for making individual career plans. You can also use the results on both a team and organisational level – allowing you to clarify the roles of each team member, understanding how the team functions as a whole, and recognizing how the organisation’s overall thought process works. Perhaps you’ll identify things that need to be changed in order to promote future innovation.
How innovative is your workgroup? Do you struggle to find new ideas or do they flow freely on a regular basis?
Originally published: 24 February, 2009
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