It's Time for an Innovation Infusion
As PR practitioners, it’s our job to be creative for our clients. We develop story ideas, pitch topics to reporters, and create lasting campaigns for companies on a daily basis. But can we take it a step further and become even more innovative in our approach? The answer is absolutely.
According to three of the most renowned innovative experts—Hal Gregersen (INSEAD), Jeff Dyer (BYU) and Clayton Christensen (Harvard Business School)—innovators are not born, but rather, made. In their new book, “The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators,” the authors identify five specific behaviors anyone can practice to become innovative thinkers. *
As part of their research for the book, Gregersen and his co-authors conducted over 100 interviews with inventors of revolutionary products and services, as well as founders and CEOs (think Jeff Bezos at Amazon, Marc Benioff at Salesforce.com and Meg Whitman at eBay) of game-changing organizations built on innovative business ideas. They also collected data from 500 innovators and over 5,000 executives around the world.
What they found from countless hours of talking to and researching some of the most innovative people on the planet is definitely counter-intuitive. Our ability to generate innovative ideas is not just a function of the mind, but also a function of behaviors. Yes, that’s right. If we want to catalyze our creative conscience, we must focus more on our behaviors.
Gregersen, Dyer and Christensen give us all a reason to stop being such creative couch potatoes and to join the bandwagon of the bustling entrepreneurial elite. So it’s time to stop leaning on the proverbial passive wall and get your innovation engines started. Here’s how, according to the three masters of the innovation-sphere:
- Associate: Draw connections between questions, problems, or ideas from unrelated fields.
- Question: Pose queries that challenge common wisdom.
- Observe: Scrutinize the behavior of customers, suppliers and competitors to identify new ways of doing things.
- Network: Meet people with different ideas and perspectives.
- Experiment: Construct interactive experiences and provoke unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge.
The authors believe that companies can generate greater innovation premiums by paying more attention to how they nurture the Innovator’s DNA skills throughout their organization. It’s time to learn from the playbook used by A.G. Lafley at P&G and step up to the innovation plate. Game on.
*DISCLAIMER: INSEAD is a current CJP Communications client