From Jurgen Wolff, Marketing for Entrepreneurs: CNN reported on a six-year study on the five secrets of being an effective innovator, conducted by professors from Harvard Business School, Insead, and Brigham Young University. The results are published in the Harvard Business Review. In brief, the great innovators are good at:
Associating ideas and information in unique combinations;
Questioning—being curious and not accepting assumptions automatically;
Observing and being open-minded;
Experimenting with new ways of thinking and doing things;
Discovering—turning curiosity into action.
One of the professors told CNN, “Studies have shown that creativity is close to 80 percent learned and acquired. We found that it’s like exercising your muscles—if you engage in the actions you build the skills.”
One of their recommendations for developing your ability to innovate is to spend half an hour a week talking to somebody you normally wouldn’t interact with. By asking them questions, observing them, discovering their world view and being open-minded, you may find yourself coming up with new ideas.