Today, my interview of Clayton Christensen, one of the leading authors on innovation, goes live as the cover story of the November Personal Branding Magazine (click for sample). In the interview, I questioned Clayton about the qualities of an innovator, how people can learn to be more innovative, and how they can demonstrate their innovative skills to others.
The Innovator's DNA is a really interesting book. The three authors - Clayton Christensen Jeffrey Dyer, and Hal Gregersen - studied innovative leaders and surveyed thousands of executives to identify what makes a person truly innovative.
They discovered it came down to five activities that innovators do: Associating, Questioning, Observing, Experimenting, and Networking. They also found that innovative skill isn't purely a result of talent - instead innovators spend an average of 50% more time on those activities than non-innovative people!
This is very important info! A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the “leadership competency” of the future.
That's really discouraging if you don't think of yourself as naturally creative. BUT, if you view creativity as a learned skill... suddenly the future is wide open!
So, if you want to learn to be more creative, here's a chance to get your hands on a great resource! This week, I'm giving away a copy of The Innovator's DNA to one lucky reader.
How can you win it?
Simple, all you have to do is give me one idea. I'll even tell you how to get it!
Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to use the associations you think of with a Random Word to come up with "fresh ways to improve cell phones".
It takes only four super quick steps to be entered to win...
- Get a Random Word.
Use the generator below. The word you'll get will be completely unrelated to mobile phones. You have to use one of the words that comes up.
- Think about what comes to mind when see that word?
Don't worry if it doesn't feel related to the problem! That's the idea! For example, if your Random Word is Cat, you might think about how your cat purrs when she's happy.
- Then, use that association to come up with an idea to improve a cell phone. For example, just like your cat purrs when she is happy, perhaps your cell phone could make a soothing background noise to let you know how the person you're talking to is feeling.
Note: You can't just combine your random word with a cell phone to have an idea. For example, if your Random Word is "Wine"...
- Creative Idea: A cell phone that checks the alcohol content on my breath and tells me whether I can legally drive according to the rules of my geographic location.
- Lazy Answer: A cell phone that has wine in it.
Don't worry if your idea is funny, crazy or silly. The whole point of this contest is to push our thinking on cell phones so that we come up with ideas beyond faster, smaller or better connectivity. Let your random word bring you somewhere completely different.
- Write your fresh idea in the comments (with the random word that got you there) and you're done!
Now, get started! Close your eyes and point at one of the Random Words in the list below. (All the words are hard. Just go with the first one you get.)
Adult Airplane Airport Album Apple Army Baby Backpack Balloon Banana Bank Barbecue Bathroom Bathtub Bed Bee Bible Bird Bomb Book Boss Bottle Bowl Box Boy Brain Bridge Butterfly Button Cappuccino Car Carpet Carrot Cave Chair Chess Chief Chisel Chocolates Church Circle Circus Clock Clown Coffee Coffee-shop Comet Compass Computer Crystal Cup Cycle Desk Diamond Dress Drill Drink Drum Earth Egg Electricity Elephant Eraser Explosive Fan Feather Festival Film Finger Fire Floodlight Flower Fork Freeway Fruit Fungus Game Garden Gas Gate Gemstone Gloves Grapes Guitar Hammer Hat Hieroglyph Highway Horoscope Horse Hose Ice Ice-cream Insect Jet fighter Junk Kaleidoscope Kitchen Knife Leather jacket Library Magnet Map Maze Meat Meteor Microscope Milk Milkshake Mist Money Monster Mosquito Mouth Nail Navy Necklace Needle Onion PaintBrush Parachute Passport Pebble Pendulum Pepper Perfume Pillow Plane Planet Pocket Pool Post-office Potato Printer Prison Pyramid Radar Rainbow Record Restaurant Rifle Ring Robot Rock Rocket Roof Rope Saddle Salt Sandpaper Sandwich Satellite School Ship Shoes Shop Shower Signature Skeleton Slave Snail Solid Space Shuttle Spectrum Sphere Spiral Spoon Sports-car Spot Light Square Staircase Star Stomach Sun Sunglasses Sword Table Tapestry Telescope Television Thermometer Tiger Torch Torpedo Train Treadmill Triangle Tunnel Typewriter Umbrella Vacuum Vampire Videotape Vulture Web Wheelchair Window
Then use that Random Word to come up with new ideas for cell phones and leave your answer in the comments.
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If you need some help starting your thinking, go to Do You Have Trouble Being Creative? for examples about using this technique.
If you'd like to see the fantastic ideas people entered in my last Random Word contest about how to improve cars, go here: