How does one become an innovator? The first step is a deep desire, a drive, a passion to improve!! Innovators want to improve themselves, people, processes and products. Master Innovators are all dedicated to continuous improvement:
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Benjamin Franklin (Founding Father, Inventor)
“If I am through learning, I am through.” John Wooden (Legendary Basketball Coach)
“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” Max Dupree (Leadership Jazz)
It’s really that simple. One has to want to improve themselves, their knowledge base, their skills, their team, the products on which they work and the environment around them. Are you ready for this? Can you do this? Do you have the will power? We have to fight and overcome many fears– the fear of the unknown, lack of skills, lack of knowledge, comfort in the old ways, loss of security and a lack of willpower to name a few. But innovators want to improve, learn and change. They are allergic to the status quo. It is part of their makeup to improve and they start with themselves; they start small and improve over time.
All one has to do is read about any innovator in science, music, education or business and you come to the simplest of conclusions – they have great talents, skills and knowledge–but it all starts by using those characteristics to improve– that they want to learn, improve themselves and everything around them.
The difficult part of this is finding the desire and energy to improve; so many of us default to a pattern of stale inactivity. Try changing. Learn to learn again, find curiosity in your interests, your job, and your hobbies. Innovation is attainable with effort, energy and a desire to improve. Great organizations institute progress, great teams push for enhancement and great innovators make continuous improvement their mantra.