For far too long, we’ve been led to believe that innovation is only for the gifted and tech-savvy. But did you know that 70% of creativity is related to the environment? That means anyone can learn to think more innovatively!

It’s true that 68% of business leaders believe that innovators are born and not made. However, a groundbreaking study reveals that while genetics account for 80% of IQ test scores, only 30% of creativity test performance can be attributed to genes. This means that with the right environment and training, almost anyone can become more innovative.

So if you’ve ever thought that innovation is out of your reach, think again. With the right mindset and support, you too can unleash your inner innovator and achieve your full potential.

What is innovation?

Innovation is not just for the elite few who can invent something entirely new. It’s simpler than you might think. You can make a significant impact by borrowing ideas, approaches, or technologies from other fields and adapting them to solve problems in a new way.

The key to innovation is curiosity. Innovators ask more and better questions, and they are more driven to find answers and embrace them, even if they’re not what they expected. Innovation is about remixing and cross-pollinating ideas, and it’s the catalyst for progress and change.

Children are natural innovators because they’re not afraid to ask questions and take risks. We should encourage this behaviour because it can lead to amazing discoveries and solutions. By embracing innovation, we can create a better future for ourselves and our world.

In the innovation economy, the person who wins is the one who has the process to solve complex problems.

Here are some prevailing myths of innovation.

Myth 1: Innovation is about the newest thing.

Great innovations can be revolutionary, like the motorized vehicle that replaced the horse carriage. However, most innovations are small improvements and developments made to existing products or services. Almost every product or service is constantly being upgraded and enhanced over time.

Myth 2: Innovation is a solo activity.

Innovation is often associated with groundbreaking new inventions, and we tend to think of innovators as eccentric geniuses with wild ideas. These individuals may not have been easily tamed by traditional education systems and may feel uncomfortable in corporate environments. However, even the most unconventional innovators require a team to implement their ideas, and these teams often make incremental improvements to the original invention.

Myth 3: Innovation can’t be taught.

In today’s fast-paced world, innovation is the key to success. However, teaching innovative thinking is not as straightforward as teaching Math or English. It demands a different approach. It requires teaching individuals how to tap into their natural curiosity to unleash their innate capacity for innovation. Before the COVID pandemic, I conducted over 20 innovation classes as part of their learning journey, and many of the students initially did not believe they were capable of innovating. Yet, within just two hours, I was able to demonstrate to them that they had the potential to be innovative.

Myth 4: Innovation is top-down.

As the head of a production department, I once oversaw the assembly of a product that required over 55 steps. I noticed that one of the assembly lines was producing the product much faster than the others. After investigating, I discovered that the operators on that line had modified the assembly procedure, reducing the number of steps to less than 40 and saving 10 seconds in the process, all while maintaining the quality. I immediately realized the potential benefits of this modification and ordered a change in the assembly procedure for all the other lines.

Myth 5: You can’t force innovation.

Encouraging innovation is one of the keys to success, but it’s not always easy to foster such an environment. Rather than simply telling others to start innovating, you can create an atmosphere that cultivates curiosity and rewards it accordingly. That’s where events like invention shows and hackathons come in. By taking part in these events, you’re engaging and open to new ideas – especially on an international scale.

Myth 6: Innovation isn’t for everyone.

Innovation is a contagious bug that can be caught by anyone. Humans have been innovating since the beginning of time, creating new and improved tools, circumstances, and more effective ways of doing things. As we enter the 21st century, it’s more important than ever to embrace our basic drive to innovate. Our ability to share information and ideas is unprecedented, giving us an exponential capacity for creativity and ingenuity. By sharing concepts from one field to another, we can take innovation to new heights and create a better future for all.

  1. Scott Berkun (2010), The Myths of Innovation
  2. Amanda Lang (2012), The Power Of Why. Collins.
  3. David S. Weiss and Claude Legrand (2011), Innovative Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Leading Sustainable Innovation in Your Organization. Wiley.
  4. Scott D. Anthony (2011), Ten Innovation Myths. Harvard Business Review.