If you’re working on building a better world, then you need to be innovative, and foster innovation in the people you lead. At first, cleaning up our environment or tackling social issues seems cost prohibitive. But check out the following examples of innovative (and profitable) solutions to real-world problems:
- Terracyle turned trash into consumable goods while helping schools and nonprofits raise money (read more…)
- Washington D.C. collected a tax on plastic bags, creating jobs and cleaning up nearby rivers (read more…)
- Invisible Children used a 30 minute video to generate millions of viewers and followers (read more…)
All three of these entities: A business, government, and NGO used an innovative approach to tackle serious problems. And all of their innovation stems from the Three A’s of Innovation:
Ambiguity | Ambition | Audacity
For innovation to happen, there can be no box, no barriers, and no limits. Innovation is most likely to occur when there aren’t clear outcomes. If you’re working to foster innovation, be as ambiguous as possible. Share insight and share the problem, but don’t add any bounds, rules, or try and move people into a specific direction. Keep things open
“There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish somep’n!” -Thomas Edison
Nothing creates success like ambition, passion, tenacity, and grit. The greatest innovators of all time fail, and fail a lot. It takes ambition to get back up. Lots of it. But if you want to innovate, you have to know it will take lots of time, energy, and effort. But if it was easy, then everyone would do it.
“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” -Woody Allen
This “A” is the final ingredient for innovation. Audacity is attributed with ending small pox, ending war in Eastern Europe, and much, much more. The Harvard Business Review writes on Audacity on a regular basis, and recently listed its 2012 Report for Audacious Ideas, saying “The world needs invention and daring now more than ever. Now is the time for audacity, not austerity.” In this list, some of the most audacious ideas related to tackling social and economic problems.
“I want to put a ding in the universe” -Steve Jobs
If you need more tips, then read our previous post about 8 Secrets to Fuel Innovation.
How do you foster innovation?