In today’s digital age, there is much emphasis placed on the value of innovation and being innovative everywhere—whether in school, at work, and generally, in life. Because things are evolving at a rapid speed, there is a need to not only keep up with these changes but also find ways to improve oneself and be unique from the rest.
There is no doubt that innovation is important as it brings about competitive advantages in organizations and societies. But the more pressing question is, “How does one become innovative? What traits and characteristics will lead to success in this VUCA world?”
Different experts suggest many different insights on what attitudes and attributes are observed in highly innovative people.
One research from Esade Entrepreneurship Institute provided twelve traits and activities that distinguish innovative people. This includes being:
- mentally resilient
- Intellectually humble
On the other hand, in a separate article from Harvard Business Review, the five characteristics of successful innovators are having a/an:
- Opportunistic mindset
- Formal training
- High degree of persistence
- Healthy dose of prudence
- Wide social capital that they may tap into.
After some comparison, the common denominator of both of these credible sources was that a successful innovator is able to spot different opportunities, especially when unexpected circumstances occur. They want to be exposed to new experiences because it helps stimulate their creativity.
Arguably, there is no question that all the aforementioned characteristics play a vital role in paving one’s journey to success. One way or another, having any of these attributes helps shape the mindset of a successful innovator.
To deepen the discussion, Embiggen Consulting’s founder and CEO, Mr. Rolan Marco Garcia, talks about what characteristics and habits set apart successful corporate innovators, especially in this pandemic.
What Is A Corporate Innovator? Who Can Be One?
An innovator is someone who is able to create and capture value. They are different from businesspersons in the sense that innovators are able to do something new that has never been done before. A corporate innovator, on the other hand, is someone who does this in a big organization.
Why Should Someone Be A Corporate Innovator?
A lot of companies right now value innovation. Innovation is what sustains an organization and drives growth. Because of that, corporations want to hire entrepreneurial people or people who are at least trained innovators.
An example would be many companies right now are training their workforce to have an innovation mindset. Embiggen has recently conducted training programs with market leaders. Training is needed because innovation is a scientific and methodological process. It is not simply based on a hunch.
How Can I Become a Corporate Innovator?
Innovators are really creative—they love risk-taking and often challenge the status quo. I believe that this is because innovation requires a healthy disregard for tradition. You need to be able to say that “No, I can do this better” or “This is a problem, but I can solve this.”
For me, I always did not like to do what other people were doing. Many people are not in the tech space, so I decided to be in the tech space. Many people do not know how to conduct innovation methodically, but here we are in Embiggen.
What Is Your Message to Corporate Innovators?
If you want to be a corporate innovator, you must solve problems and recognize future opportunities that you can build today. In this pandemic, so many problems arose. Corporate innovators are those who were able to step up to the challenge and found ways to ensure business continuity.
And this is very important because we need more corporate innovators in society. Especially in an emerging market like the Philippines, there is so much potential. Emerging markets need to develop through commerce and industries and doing this with government institutions requires innovators. To become an emerged market, the policies present must enable and encourage innovation.
The need for innovators is clear. A corporation cannot be comfortable and think that no competitor will overtake them. To quote Mr. Garcia, “if companies don’t disrupt themselves, a nimble and more innovative startup will.”
Start building your innovation team. Equip your team with the skills they need to innovate.