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Innovators’ Five Obsessions

by Anna Mischke | Feb 03, 2018

Monthly Blog 020218For Josh Linkner, “creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of all human progress.” An entrepreneur, author, and keynote speaker, Linkner has founded five tech companies and built his businesses from scratch into a combined value of over $200 million. All this while helping raise $150 million of venture capital for over 100 other companies and playing professional jazz guitar. In Linkner’s keynotes on innovation, creativity, hyper-growth leadership, and reinvention, he aims to help people and organizations hone in on their hardwired creativity to find their ultimate success. In several essential addresses, Linkner shares the top five focuses of innovators who are making a difference in driving growth and setting their businesses apart.

Rediscover Your Curiosity

“The more curious you are, the more creative you’ll become.” Ask questions before making decisions, particularly the difficult ones: try the simple “why?”, “what if?”, and “why not?” You may be surprised at the new approaches that you discover by being inquisitive.

Embrace Change

While companies may find great success, it’s not necessarily static. Many companies who rest in their complacency find their downfall in their failure to keep striving for what’s next. Businesses must “lean into change, embracing new approaches rather than clinging to old ones.” Innovators have a desire to constantly explore the newest trends, tech, concepts, and products; letting go of old ways can make all the difference.

Challenge Tradition

“Blindly doing things in a traditional way has been the downfall of far too many companies and careers.” Observe the traditions your company follows and see how you can transform the norm. Question what the contrary action would achieve and assess the potential outcome. While changing for the sake of it isn’t ideal, understanding whether your traditions are outdated or relevant is key. “This is the point where breakthroughs occur.” 

Find Your Grit

Getting into the weeds can make all the difference. Our ability to innovate comes from within, not from outside resources like money, headcount, or raw materials. Resilience and tenacity make for valuable qualities when finding the best way to do things, creatively; “instead of blindly throwing money at a problem, try throwing your imagination at it instead.” 

Experiment, Learn, Adapt
True innovation takes time: “only through a series of setbacks and mistakes, failures and pivots, tweaks and micro-innovations, does an idea gain any real merit.” You’re unlikely to find a concept that makes the biggest, strongest impression right out of the gate. Working creatively in small, fast bursts as a daily habit can produce the most bracing impact.

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