It’s about a mindset. It’s about creating a culture with the power of innovation to inspire evolution and a revolution. An innovation culture is about the team and leadership truly believing that a business must innovate to stay current or with the right aspiration to become a market leader. As someone who lives the power of innovation, it’s easy to get bogged down by others around you. I love the power of innovation and what it can do for you personally. My desire to think differently stems from a life of questioning ‘what is normal’? Innovation isn’t the easiest concept to sell to others. Those, who prefer a life that they feel they can ‘control’, can sometimes shy away from the possibilities of what an innovation culture could offer. It’s these people who can often bring the idea generation, and its relentless need to be different, to a grinding halt.

A culture of innovation does not discriminate against these people. Instead, it harnesses the power of the mind to ground ideas and allows you to push hard to sell your idea. An innovator will often go it alone knowing that their team will one day get on the bus. The bus often has to slow down, wait for others to jump on and believe in the idea. Sometimes, it even needs to stop. Not because it had to but needs to. You see, innovation is only as good as the power of execution and in a true innovation culture you don’t need 20 innovators in a room, you need quite the opposite. An innovator does not need to be surrounded by those who are ‘like-minded’, they need others who can’t actually see their vision so they can convince them it’s right and it will work! They need a room filled with diverse individuals who can challenge their crazy ideas. They might not work and sometimes they’re just down-right silly but ‘putting it out there’ is half the fun!

As someone who can often shoot off an idea in a brief conversation, I know that many don’t ‘get it’ and that ideas are sometimes destined for the idea ‘recycling bin’. But don’t worry, this bin is just that – a re-use, recycle and re-work bin. All ideas come in and go out, they mash, they evolve, they grow legs and sometimes they even get heard. Innovation culture isn’t just about your ideas, it’s about everyone’s ideas. You see, even those that dig out your ideas will have a good perspective. You take these on board, you massage them and you end up with something that people will buy into. Sure, you can be bold with single-minded ideas but it’s doesn’t always lead to the best outcome for where you and your team need to be, right then, right now.

So, to return to my opening statement, mindset is everything when it comes to innovation in business. Know that you might be one of only a few minds in an innovation circle but you will all add value. Innovation is the lead in an organisation and it’s a part of what you do each day. In each moment, we look for ways to do it differently or better. Never shy away from a challenge in business if you feel your innovation really does have legs. Fight for it, sell your ideas and be bold!

TEN TIPS ON AN INNOVATION CULTURE:

  1. Never be offended if your ideas don’t ‘get up’. Move on!
  2. Value the time others put in, they need it. 
  3. If you can’t say it on a page, refine it. 
  4. Innovation doesn’t discriminate, neither should you. 
  5. Look for ways to engage others on the Journey. 
  6. Don’t try to be an expert at everything, draw on others’ expertise. 
  7. Find peoples’ passions, they will innovate when connected to this. 
  8. Give your ideas away for free. 
  9. Re-Use, Recycle and Re-Generate all ideas. 
  10. Always challenge yourself with different minds. 

So if you say ‘Innovate’ mean it,

Ben Roulston, Lifelong Innovator

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