How to be innovative

Have you ever wondered what creative people have in common and how to identify them?

If you have a company, you would surely like to be able to identify people with innovation capacity and create something authentic to achieve business success, but there is very little research on what makes one person more creative than another.

Have you ever heard names of very creative entrepreneurs like: Steve Jobs from Apple, Jeff Bezos from Amazon, Pierre Omidyar from eBay and A.G. P&G Lafley. What do they have in common? The answer according to Jeff Dyer author “The innovator´s DNA” lies in 5 skills which generate discovery and help us to question the reason for human behavior with observation in the small details.

Next, Briefly explanation of each of these skills:


How you associate or connect ideas, questions or problems that are apparently unrelated (may be from different fields)

Before we can associate we must understand how the brain works. I read an article by Harvard in which he sets an example that unlike a dictionary that you are looking for a letter and breaks down an infinite number of words, the brain instead, associates the word “cinema” with any number of experiences of our lives. The more diverse our experience and knowledge, the more connections the brain can make.

A person who marked my life said “It is very important how you feed your brain; the books you read, movies, series, travel, culture and food. Do not necessarily go to the artistic side, eat a little of everything and thus strengthen your abilities to generate ideas.” There is a very clear example. When Pierre Omidyar launched eBay, it was because he connected three disconnected points: A fascination for creating more efficient markets, after being excluded from the IPO of a hot Internet company in the mid-1990s; his girlfriend’s desire to locate difficult-to-find collectible Fish dispensers; and the inefficiency of local classified ads to locate such items.


It is the ability to question the unquestionable or at least this is stated by the Ratan Naval Tata an Indian industrialist, investor, philanthropist, and a former chairman of Tata Sons.

The most important questions should be highlighted. why? why not? what if?. Children are the most creative people and adults generally tend to close ourselves to the understanding of what already exists. We must look beyond what exists, embrace all restrictions and see limitations as opportunities.


It’s very funny how people don’t give it enough importance to research and they keep what they know. If we could incorporate different cultures, thoughts and ways of doing things that break what we currently know and incorporate into our daily lives, we would create something new, unique and functional.

If you try to understand, categorize and store knowledge, it would be easier to create, store and recombine naturally. Great ideas have been found in observing how others lead their normal lives, differences are found, after obtaining information new ways of doing things arrive.


To talk about experimenting we have to get out of the conventions that society has imposed on us. When I talk about experimenting it is to build experiences to provoke unexpected answers and get ideas from the results and it can be done when we learn something, when we teach something, when we participate in new environments or when we change something of our appearance, etc. Experimentation must be constant and one way to carry it out in the most powerful way is to travel, live and work abroad.

In our company we can encourage it by breaking with the conventions of business culture, putting certain cases to employees to shore them to work in a decentralized way to harvest different learning and in an inexpensive way.


By creating a network of people with different mentalities, we can find a different perspective, while ordinary entrepreneurs create networks to sell, obtain resources or to boost their businesses or careers, innovative entrepreneurs do so to find different points of view and expand their knowledge; or they attend ideas conferences like TED.

While there are people born with the talent of creativity, it must be constantly developed and strengthened, anyone can be creative and innovative should only prepare, implement everything and incorporate it into their lives. Kent Bowen posted the following in his office: “The knowledge needed to solve many of our most challenging problems comes from outside our industry and scientific field. We must aggressively and proudly incorporate our work findings and advances that were not invented here. ”When we fall in love with our achievements and plans, we stop looking beyond. It is like an entrepreneur who does very well in his business shortly after opening it, engages in that it is perfect and defends it, first and foremost, he stops seeing the areas of improvement and does not open up to the possibility of experimenting to obtain greater growth

It is difficult for many of us to incorporate this mentality and it is at this moment that the question of why comes? Why do innovators associate, question, observe, experiment and network? They do it to change what is already established and they take responsibility all the time to make the change a reality.

The fear of change and taking risks is in everyone, but the way to make that step easier is to make friends with the mission, to embrace it. Mistakes are teachings, we should not be ashamed to make them. Also, as I mentioned before, practice is the best teacher, I can have the whole theory in my head, but if I do not put it into practice, it is useless, the same applies to innovative thinking and among the 5 skills mentioned above, the most important to practice is the questioning, which leads to discovery.

Examples of how to practice the aforementioned skills in our life and business:

  • Spend 15 minutes a day writing 10 new questions that challenge the status quo in your company
  • Observe how certain customers experience a service or product in their natural environment without making judgments and ask yourself, what is different from what you expected?
  • Take notes wherever you go from the good and bad you observe, from the ideas you have.
  • You can start with something simple, like Michael Dell who asks his collaborators questions that he knows have no answer.

Make an analysis of the changes that this generates in your way of seeing the world.