Welcome to another week of growth and empowerment? Our question of the week is ‘What is Stopping You?’
Recently I got in a conversation with someone who told me the reason she has not started anything is because she feels that everything she could have wanted to do has been done by someone else before. In other words, until she is able to come up with an idea no one else has even thought of or pushed, then she will not following her dream of becoming an Organic Leader and Leaderpreneur.
That conversation got me thinking about what innovation or creativity really is. Dictionary defines innovation as;
‘The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value for which customers will pay.
The more I thought about what innovation and creativity means to me and the lessons I have learnt about them based on my experiences over the years, I have come to the conclusion that innovation isn’t about the novelty of the idea as it is the enhancement of the method or process.
The point of today’s post is simple; you cannot be held back from expressing your DNA because you think your idea is not new. Now stop and think about it, what if you never find a brand new idea? I mean, that literarily, there is no new idea anywhere, what becomes of the nudge, pull and push for you to become more? For you to put something out you know the uniqueness of your personality will add credence to? What becomes of that?
So, what if your idea isn’t new? What can you do?
1. Get the Mind-set that You Can – A lot of the battles we fight first begin in our minds. So it makes sense to settle it in your mind that you can bring some level of extra or improvement to the field or idea. Take a good like at what you want to do and decide that there is room for improvement.
2. Review What Exists to Determine What Needs to Improve. – Yes, I agree that getting the mind-set is only the beginning. That is why you need to take the time to review what already exists, speak to those who either use it or are involved in it to determine what is lacking. Once you know this, do an audit of your gifts, skills, experiences and passions, to determine in what unique ways you can improve the idea or invention.
3. Find Appropriate Learning on How to Improve – It is my belief that since there is nothing new under the sun, even the improvement you want to make might exist in a model somewhere. I can assure you that if you know what you are looking for it will only take a short while before you find someone who knows how to get that improvement done. You may also decide to find a course for how it is done and take it so you are equipped should you want to be part of the improvement process. Get with people who have travelled the road before. Get a mentor.
4. Commit to the Process – As you may have heard me say sometimes, everything is a process. Recognise that innovation is not something you can rush, so you need to be sure from the beginning that you are committed to the process. Get your hands dirty, get in the trenches, be part of the process so you can truly defend the improvement when it is all done. Be open to the fact that you may not hit your objective the first time, but stick with it and see it through.
5. Take responsibility for the Results you Get. Be proud of your attempt however it turns out. Even when you don’t get the desired result I am confident that your time will not be a total waste as you will have learnt a few lessons that will help you in other ventures. So don’t be the leader who finds a reason outside himself for the things that happen to him.
6. Document Your Learning for Posterity – . The reason why we started out thinking that there is something new under the sun is because a lot of people who have done a lot of great things have not documented the process. Once you document the process step by step, it makes it easier for whatever enhancement you have to be replicated and even surpassed in future. So you need to take documentation seriously if you are one of those people who want to be innovative leaders.
Like I said when I started, there is nothing new under the sun; absolutely nothing new under the sun. Our responsibility is to find out what it is that we want to do, take into consideration our gifts, our past experiences, our skills and all of those things that make us unique, and deploy them to improve what already exists.
The dream life is easy to come by if you recognise that you don’t have to have a brand new idea, rather that you can take what is and work on it to bring forth something that is so much better that it becomes new in many minds.
One snag with innovation however, is the need for hard work and possibly having to go it alone at the initial stage because a lot of people will tell you that what exists cannot be improved upon.
Finally, innovation doesn’t happen in a hurry. So don’t think because you know what you want to do it will happen in two days. Innovation doesn’t happen in a hurry and is expensive. It takes a lot of sacrifice and it takes a lot of commitment. However, innovation does happen; even pretty regularly. It’s been done before and you can do it again.
Today rather than continuing in the unhappy unfulfilled life at a job you absolutely hate, why not take a leap of faith and take something you have always complained about and make it better? Why don’t you take what already exists and make it better, because for what it is worth, that may just be the greatest innovation of your time!
As long as your innovation brings value, you will go down in history, even if for one person, as someone who has made a difference. After all, isn’t that why you set out?
Till next time, remember that innovation isn’t about new things; it is about a commitment to improvement and value.
No matter what it is that you do this week, I am confident that you will make it NeverTheLess.
Here is to your success

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