“Our choice is either to innovate, or to not be around,” is the advice Scott Anthony has for those who want to be players in our rapidly changing world. Anthony is the managing director of Innosight, Asia-Pacific, and the author of The Little Black Book of Innovation. He spoke with the DorobekINSIDER to share his understanding of the traits of great innovators, and the organizations that are helping change the world.
People who are willing to buck trends and take risks are the ones to watch, says Anthony. Large companies like Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM are the well known innovators who have been publicly changing the recent history of our world. But there are also success stories from other large companies that don’t have the same limelight.
- Syngenta is exploring ways to reach small farmers in remote areas
- Unilever is making clean water available in India
- Intel is sending laptops to people all over the world
In terms of innovation in US governments, Anthony says they are good at creating giant modern infrastructures; but a result of their success in this field is getting too comfortable with what works. Governments sometimes find it harder to take the necessary risks that were the source of their original successes. Without the willingness to risk failure, US governments are less likely to innovate than other less established organizations (or governments.)
5 Traits of a Good Innovator:
- good at making associations between unlike things
- asks lots of questions
- networks at the intersections
For those of you who work in environments where bureaucracy is thick and innovation is not fostered, you might think that there is no room for you in the innovation game. Not so, says Anthony. Even the smallest changed can have large long-term effects on the culture of an organization.
Large companies are chaining the world, but it is important to note that that biggest changes are being engineered by those people who are lower down in organizations, remaining mostly out of the media spotlight. The great changes being made by people behind the scenes are the ones that are driving real change.