How does one create a company-wide culture of innovation? At Fast Company Design, Scott Anthony, a managing director at the innovation consulting firm Innosight, believes that "four ingredients propel an organization forward: the right people, appropriate rewards and incentives, a common language, and leadership role-modeling."
As for the first part of that equation, it's particularly important to find individuals who can connect the dots:
If you ask most people what makes a great innovator, the most common response is innate gifts from parents or a higher power. Great innovators are undoubtedly different from the general population. However, pioneering research by Hal Gregersen at INSEAD, Jeffrey Dyer at BYU, and Clayton Christensen at Harvard shows that the critical difference is actually learned behaviors.
At the core is what the professors call 'associational thinking.' That is the ability to make connections between seemingly unconnected things. A classic example of this is how a calligraphy class inspired Apple legend Steve Jobs’s emphasis on typography on early computers. The professors then detail what they call the 'Innovator’s DNA,' four time-tested approaches successful innovators follow...
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