“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” — J.K. Rowling
Your innovation philosophy is a reflection of your values, beliefs, and principles that guide your approach to innovation in both your personal and professional life.
It serves as a compass for the choices you make and the actions you take in pursuit of growth, progress, and impact.
By clarifying your innovation philosophy, you can unlock your full potential and unleash your creative power to bring your ideas to life and change the world in meaningful ways.
What is a Personal Innovation Philosophy?
Before you worry about an organizational innovation philosophy, you should get clear on your personal innovation philosophy.
Your personal innovation philosophy will help shape and align your approach to innovation in a more authentic way, from the inside out.
Plus, it will help you understand why you run into conflict or where you might need to adapt or adjust.
A personal innovation philosophy is a set of beliefs, values, and principles that guide your approach to innovation in your personal and professional life.
Your personal innovation philosophy serves as a roadmap for how you will prioritize and pursue innovation, and it helps to align your actions with your values and goals.
Just like an organizational innovation philosophy, a personal innovation philosophy can help you stay focused on your goals, make decisions that align with your values, and prioritize the projects and initiatives that will have the most impact.
It can also help you foster a culture of innovation in your personal and professional life, as you understand the role you play in driving change and work towards a shared sense of purpose.
Your personal innovation philosophy can cover a wide range of topics, including your goals and priorities, your approach to risk-taking and experimentation, your values and beliefs, and your process for ideation, development, and implementation.
By defining your personal innovation philosophy, you can ensure that your efforts are intentional, aligned, and focused on making a positive impact in your personal and professional life.
Why Figure Out Your Innovation Philosophy?
Figuring out your innovation philosophy is important because it provides a clear sense of purpose and direction for your innovation efforts.
Having a well-defined innovation philosophy helps you stay focused on your goals, make decisions that align with your values, and prioritize the projects and initiatives that will have the most impact.
It also serves as a guide for your team, helping everyone understand why innovation is important and what your organization is trying to achieve through it.
Having a clear innovation philosophy also helps to create a culture of innovation within your organization.
It helps everyone understand the role they play in driving innovation, and it gives them a shared sense of purpose and direction. It can also help to foster a culture of collaboration and creativity, as everyone works together to achieve a common goal.
Ultimately, figuring out your innovation philosophy is a way of ensuring that your efforts are intentional, aligned with your values, and focused on making a positive impact.
It helps you make the most of your resources, prioritize your efforts, and create a better world for yourself and those around you.
My Innovation Philosophy
I’ve focused on innovation for more than 20+ years at Microsoft. I’ve been leading innovation and learning as much as I can, from everyone I can about the art and science of innovation.
I’ve seen some of the most amazing innovations and worked with many of the most amazing innovators around the world.
When I was head coach for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s innovation team, I learned how to use trends & insights to help leaders reimaging the future, create and capture value, and disrupt industries through new business models.
All of my experience has helped shape my innovation philosophy and I continue to evolve it as I learn and refine my innovation approach.
Here is my innovation philosophy based on leading high performance innovation teams and building solutions to change the world:
- Innovation is a team sport. Innovation at its finest is a symphony of diverse minds and background composing ideas and creating beautiful music together to create new value.
- Innovation is how we solve our greatest challenges. Innovation is how we rise and thrive. Innovation is how we challenge ourselves and the world around us. Innovation as a way to see and solve problems in new ways and create new value. Great innovators see the world as it is, and how it could be, and help us bridge the gaps.
- Innovation is how we keep up with the future. And how we create the future. Disrupt or be disrupted. Continuous innovation is how we adapt and respond to our ever-changing world. Innovation challenges the status quo. It’s a way to think and do differently. It’s a way to change the way things have always been done.
- Innovation is a skill that anyone can learn. Anyone can learn to apply their creativity and imagination to solve problems and create new value. Innovation is one of the greatest ways to find your voice and help others find theirs and apply human potential as a force for greater good.
- Innovation is a game of adopting new ideas. Adapt or die. And adopt or die. Without learning how to rethink and change, innovation stalls and dies. To win the game of innovation, win the game of adoption and change.
- Innovation MUST be inclusive and diverse. The best innovation teams embrace diversity and create vulnerability-based trust, along with psychological safety. By applying creativity and imagination to solve problems and do things differently, that’s how we play the game of innovation. Truly embracing cognitive diversity / neurodiversity creates the greatest context for the greatest contribution, the greatest collaboration and the greatest innovation.
- Management innovation trumps all. Business model innovation can lead to business breakthroughs, but management innovation can lead to a culture of continuous business breakthroughs.
- Today is your future in the making. Every day you are building and shaping your future through your choices and your efforts. The key to business innovation is small business experiments to validate future value, today.
How Can You Figure Out Your Innovation Philosophy?
There are several steps you can follow to figure out your innovation philosophy:
- Reflect on your values and goals: What do you care about? What do you want to achieve? What kind of impact do you want to make? This self-reflection will help you understand what drives you and what you want to prioritize in your innovation efforts.
- Assess your organization’s strengths and weaknesses: What does your organization excel at? What are its weaknesses? How can innovation help address these areas?
- Consider your industry and market: What are the current trends and challenges in your industry? How can innovation help you stay ahead of the competition and meet the needs of your customers?
- Gather input from stakeholders: Talk to your team, customers, and partners about their thoughts on innovation. What do they see as the most important challenges and opportunities? What do they think your organization should prioritize in its innovation efforts?
- Define your innovation philosophy: Based on your reflections and insights, define a clear statement that summarizes your innovation philosophy. Make it concise and memorable, and ensure that it aligns with your values and goals.
- Make your innovation philosophy actionable: Once you have defined your innovation philosophy, make it actionable by turning it into specific goals and initiatives. This will help you ensure that your efforts are aligned with your philosophy and focused on making a positive impact.
- Communicate and implement your innovation philosophy: Share your innovation philosophy with your team, customers, and partners. Make sure everyone understands why innovation is important and what your organization is trying to achieve through it. Then, work together to implement your innovation philosophy and make it a central part of your organizational culture.
By following these steps, you can figure out your innovation philosophy and ensure that your efforts are focused, aligned, and impactful.