Success in any industry goes hand-in-hand with innovation — the ability to produce new ideas; provide better solutions; and pioneer new products. The most successful people are not simply the hardest working, they’re the most innovative.
You can hustle and put in endless hours each week, but if you’re not stretching your innovative muscles, you’ll never achieve breakthroughs and success. From Edison, to Branson, and Cuban, here are 10 habits from the most innovative people:
1. They constantly look for patterns.
It’s called Apophenia: the ability to perceive meaningful patterns within random data. While it’s a universal human tendency, it is more pronounced among innovative thinkers.
Intentionally looking for patterns within your industry will allow you to spot relationships that others cannot. It’s a skill that allows you to ‘predict’ or foresee a problem — and that’s an opportunity for innovation. Great innovators are always finding how the outlier fits into the picture.
2. They’re brilliantly lazy.
Bill Gates has been quoted as saying, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” Innovators will find the best and easiest route to get a project done. It boils down to efficiency. Innovators live by the saying, “Work smart, not hard.” They don’t just strive to create the best product, but also the best process.
3. They’re obsessive note-takers
Your conscious mind (working memory) can only process small chunks of information at a time. With a cacophony of streaming ideas, great innovators are incessant notetakers. Thomas Edison left 3500 notebooks behind at his death.
When Richard Branson revealed one of his most powerful business tools, it wasn’t a complicated gadget, but carrying an old fashioned notepad wherever he went. He’s always seeking feedback from flight passengers and cabin crew, and using that information to innovate.
Ideas can come from nowhere; your million-dollar idea can come while you’re waiting for your coffee or getting groceries. Keep a compendium of your ideas, it’ll be your trail leading to gold.
4. They preach perfection, but practice progress.
Perfectionism can be crippling, but discarding it altogether is an open door for mediocrity. Great innovators still preach and expect perfection, yet live in the reality of progress. It’s a healthy pendulum-swing between the two. They strive for the ideal, and get work done in the real. The key is to aim for perfection, but keep firing to make progress.
Source: The Huffington Post | Thai Nguyen