And, over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with so many creative and innovative people.
I’m talking about people like Whitepages’ Alex Algard, Cheezburger’s Ben Huh and BuddyTV’s Andy Liu. These guys are absolute masters at drawing profitableconclusions from problems and ideas from totally unrelated fields. The businesses that these new ideas trigger speak for themselves.
So I thought I would put down on paper what it is that makes these guys innovative thinkers and leaders, and tips that you can use to help you reach their kind of success, too. Here are 10:
Truly innovative people have an ability to see connections across data and ideas, and then turn those patterns they see into even better ideas.
This mental trait starts early with you recognizing patterns in things like language, faces and handwriting, but through experience you see connections between ideas and concepts in the world. They call this lateral thinking.
A good innovate leader will blend information from different sources to come up with solutions and products. If you want to get really good at this, you have to do this:
- Look at lots of sources of data and ideas and seek out the associations.
- Encourage those around you to do the same.
- Question conventional thinking and constantly get into the habit of developing different theories on how you can do something better.
Most people stare straight ahead and look for the obvious. That can leave you open to missed opportunities, allowing competition to jump on them instead…or take advantage of weaknesses that you have.
Great innovative leaders instead develop what is called peripheral vision. This is the ability to look not just ahead, but up and down the vertical you are working in and across into very different verticals.
Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Try to find information that could change the way you do business or the way your industry does business.
- Look past all of your current boundaries.
- Create networks of people who are also looking out at the peripheral to help you scan for opportunities. These reciprocal relationships work best with people not in your industry. (cont … Geek Wire)