Think Different & Act Different to Innovate & Create

This brief movie preview comes from the Brigham Young University article Innovators practice 5 skills the rest of us don’t, says BYU, INSEAD and Harvard B-school study (with thanks to Alex Ragone for tweeting it!)

According to the study, which took place over the span of six years and included surveys of 3,000 executives and 500 entrepreneurs, plus close analysis of the behaviours of 25 folks deemed “innovative entrepreneurs” (I would love to see the list of who all of these people are), there are five specific skills that when employed together, help spur innovation and creativity. You can read more about this study in The Innovator’s DNA, written by Jeffrey Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton Christensen, as published in the December 2009 issue of The Harvard Business Review. (To read the full article, you will need to spend less than ten dollars to purchase the pdf, which I have not yet done but probably will do.)

As noted in the BYU article, the five “discovery skills” include:

• Questioning
• Observing
• Experiment
• Networking
• Associating

The one that struck me the most was Experiment because the description of it meshes so strongly with my view of professional development.

Seek training outside your expertise. Take apart a product or process just to see how it works.

Back in November, 2007, I wrote:

A true professional development implementation provides a range of experiences that meet the needs of the individuals while also challenging and stimulating them to go beyond their immediate needs.

Thus the experiences provided permit people to choose from skills support to pedagogy, while insisting they also visit areas outside their teaching domain, as well as areas that feed their creativity regardless of domain.

And these ideas stemmed from  thoughts I had earlier in 2005:

…faculty would take workshops of personal interest, workshops outside of their comfort level and zone of expertise, and workshops that complemented what they teach.


Hmm, time for me to hop back over to the HBR page and purchase that pdf!

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