“Held in the palms of thousands of disgruntled people over the centuries have been ideas worth millions – if they only had taken the first step and then followed through” -Robert M. Hayes
India today is a restless country. We are better connected globally than ever before, our GDP growth is strong, and there is an increasing availability of both venture capital and a highly educated and talented workforce. But the more visionary ones among us realize that the key to continued prosperity is to have our business products and services keep pace with the rapid evolution of technology. Models that were successful before will not be viable forever. For example, we can expect jobs in the once-revolutionizing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector to be replaced very soon by faster and cheaper artificial intelligence.
Luckily, there is no shortage of people wanting to think bigger, think outside the box and make their ideas a reality. As organizations have slowly started modernizing their hierarchies and processes, employees have begun to feel more comfortable approaching their management with novel ideas. Many dream of leaving their uninspiring jobs and starting up something of their own. Even recent graduates have started rejecting the security of corporate jobs to become entrepreneurs.
The fact is, I meet these kinds of people all the time and call them aspiring innovators. Sadly, most of them will never actually be successful in turning their ideas into hard, profitable, game-changing reality. This isn’t because they aren’t smart or hard-working. It’s because they think that’s enough.
To become a true innovator, you first need to understand what innovation is and what it is not. Then you need to recognize the important role personality plays in the process. Most importantly, you need to grasp the two most important strategies- Design Thinking and Lean Startup- all successful innovators adopt, whether they know those names or not. I am not THE expert on innovation and neither am I attempting a novel methodology. What follows is what is according to me the most relevant information, presented in a way that’s quickly and easily digestible. It is my original take on the subject after years of observing strategies that work, and more frequently, those that fail.