Innovative Thinking as a skill requires a proper platform for it to function properly. This platform needs to be built well to prepare the mind to think well.
A prepared mind notices things an unprepared mind doesn't and is ready to process new ideas objectively and purposefully.
As the old saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
According to Prof Jeanne Liedtka, there are three characteristics of preparedness of the mind:
- Learning vs Losing Mindset
- Broad Repertoire vs Limited
- People empathy vs People apathy
The Learning Mindset is a must to ensure that the mind is ready to make and accept mistakes, learn from them and innovate to prevent them happening again. Whereas the Losing mindset only shies away from challenges and prefers to do things the way it always has.
A Broad Repertoire of skills, knowledge and experiences also allows easy access to helpful information. Working only in one area for a long time does not allow the variety of input that helps the mind stay open to possibilities. A limited repertoire will only breed thinking based on outdated or untested beliefs.
People empathy, while surprising as a thinking characteristic, actually makes sense considering any innovation will impact people. Thus, the gathering of information from others, the design of deliverables and its implementation must include human input and consideration. To be blind to human needs is to forget who actually keeps everything running.
Prof Liedtka calls people with these three characteristics Catalysts, because they can innovate wherever they are with limited resources, and their influence is far-reaching and sparks organic growth at exponential rates.
Want to be a Catalyst? Prepare your mind with them.