Entrepreneurs are normally highly innovative and creative, but many innovative persons are not entrepreneurs. As it takes a complete team of many people to build a successful company, there is a challenge to find the small percentage of innovators and then nurture the tendency instead of stifling it.
There is a book named, “The Rudolph Factor”, written by Cyndi Laurin and Craig Morningstar, and is all about finding shining bright lights that can bring innovation in the business. This story particularly hit big companies, but the concept is also applied on startup having one or more employees.
The real message is that innovation and competitive advantages are more people based rather than process or product based. A good entrepreneur requires a people-centric focus for creativity and innovation in the team, and to build a competitive advantage that is sustainable.
The authors observed that some people who try to behave as mentors tend to face an uncanny ability to nurture and recognize those who possess innate capabilities. They should have some characteristics and are as follows:
- Thinkers and Problem solvers: The innovators are creative by nature and love to have new challenges. Some are a bit eccentric to other people around them. They promote unconventional ways to solve their problems and pass an easy time while identifying the root cause.
- Passionate and Inquisitive: The team members are passionate towards their work and light up while talking about their project or role in those projects. They usually ask why? Even if this is not a much popular question to ask.
- Challenge the status quo: Innovators believe that asking questions is of great value and benefit. This is how they discover their needs to solve a problem.
- Connect the dots: They have the ability to synthesize a number of variables quickly to solve problems and make improvements. For others, it may be as if their idea become visible, then there will be no reason or rhythm behind their thoughts.
- See the Big Picture: Innovators are considered natural system thinkers and have the ability to see the whole forest instead of a single tree. They may show frustration if the people around them talk about the bark instead of the forest.
- Collaborative/ Action Oriented: They have the confidence and ability to convert their ideas into actions. They do work on their ideas and often without knowing how they will complete them.
This is your challenge to go ahead with this awareness to find and mentor the bright lights that will make innovations and competitive advantages. After finding innovators, integrate them in a team. Establishing a culture that is a comfortable environment to share ideas is a key aspect of this matter.
In fact, a nurturing and safe environment needs to be extended beyond a team to higher levels of the organization. It should adopt the leadership style that commits the success of people around. This helps to open the door for everyone who is in the organization to go ahead from where they are, instead of waiting for management decisions.
Innovation is the heart of a successful startup. You win when you see the things differently and wonder about why and how. You can extend your power to be a highly creative person. So you can make this world a place of probabilities as well as possibilities.