Core Principles of Great Innovators

Successful innovators and entrepreneurs all swear by stick to a core set of principles when tackling new ventures, new technologies, and new approaches to a market. These principles often define companies and individuals.

In my latest book, I dedicated an entire section exploring the pillars that make a continuously impactful innovator, not the one that appear to be  an 'all show'. I'm talking about those that continually produce amazing output. Like my Four C's of Innovation, I have the four P's of Impactful Innovators; Problem Oriented, Passion, Purpose and Principles.

Let's take a look at the top five principles that drive success in innovation:

  1. Innovation is everywhere. You just have to be curious enough. Innovation isn’t limited only to people you hire to do the innovating. Sometimes, you have to just observe and listen even to people outside the field you're in. Take for example Google. A medical doctor on Google argued that their company has  a moral obligation to “extend help to those typing searches under the phrase "how to commit suicide." Because of this, the search engine’s response now includes the toll free phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
  2. Focus on the user. It’s true, having a great creative team can boost your innovative ideas off the ground. What we should remember is that the best people who know what they need from a product are the users themselves. They are the ones who can identify the problem and help you with the solution. New ideas can come from user problems. So when it comes to innovation, you should focus on your users.
  3. Give employees 20 percent of their time to explore. A great innovation tip from Google is giving your employees 20 percent of their work time to just basically do anything they are passionate about. At Google, engineers and project managers have the freedom to set aside one day a week to work on a favorite idea. This allows for more creative juices to come in, and more innovative ideas explored for development.
  4. Share everything you can. We’ve talked about this before. Sometimes, it’s natural to just keep your innovative idea a secret to everyone until it’s perfect for execution. What we should remember is that collaboration is essential to innovation and we should share information openly. Your baby idea could bloom into something more mature and more doable since you’ll be hearing inputs from the industry that will take it in.
  5. Passion and pain. A lot of people get discouraged when their ideas fail. But remember, if you do not fail often, you may not be trying hard enough. Taking in failure means you can learn from your mistakes and work on a better idea. It is painful, but if you are passionate enough to move an innovative idea forward, you can definitely achieve innovative success.

How about you? What principles do you live by when innovating? Share it with me!


References: be-a- success-at- everything/googles-nine-

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