2016: A Year of Innovation

Posted on Dec 30, 2015 in Entrepreneur, San Diego Lawyer, Setting up a Small Business, Small Business, Small Business Tips and Tricks Series, Tips for Entrepreneurs | Comments Off on 2016: A Year of Innovation

2016: A Year of Innovation


Innovation is quite the buzzword these days–and with good reason. In this fast changing, digital era, creative change is constantly happening in the business world. For some, being innovative or creative in a business environment may come easily, but what if you feel like you’re more of the “put your head down and get it done” kind of person?

Here’s what Jeffery Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton Christensen have to say.  As a result of an extensive study of some of the most innovative entrepreneurs in recent years they share:

“Our research led us to identify five ‘discovery skills’ that distinguish the most creative executives: associating, questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking. We found that innovative entrepreneurs (who are also CEOs) spend 50% more time on these discovery activities than do CEOs with no track record for innovation. Together, these skills make up what we call the innovator’s DNA. And the good news is, if you’re not born with it, you can cultivate it.”

Following is a brief description of these five skills.



This skill involves drawing connections between seemingly unrelated entities to uncover new ways of approaching a problem. Connections between different industries, the arts, science or even nature can uncover better ways of doing business.



Can you imagine if Henry Ford never questioned the standard car assembly method? It’s highly doubtful Ford would have become the production powerhouse that it is today. Great innovators ask Why? Why not? and How can we make this better?



It’s key for every business owner to be on the job site, to see the final product and to speak with all levels of employees. But not only do great innovators watch their own way of doing business, but they discover new methods by observing success strategies of other companies using the associating skill discusses above.



This is the step after observation and results in intense learning. “Like scientists, innovative entrepreneurs actively try out new ideas by creating prototypes and launching pilots. (As Edison said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that do not work.”) The world is their laboratory. Unlike observers, who intensely watch the world, experimenters construct interactive experiences and try to provoke unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge.”



This isn’t networking in the traditional sense, “unlike most executives—who network to access resources, to sell themselves or their companies, or to boost their careers— innovative entrepreneurs go out of their way to meet people with different kinds of ideas and perspectives to extend their own knowledge domains.” Networking in this sense is an incomparable method to foster innovation.


So as we approach this new year, let’s working on these five key skills of innovation: associating, questioning, observing, experimenting and networking. If we do, we can be at the forefront of change and make 2016 a year of innovation. Happy New Year!

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