Innovation, lateral thinking and creativity are now the essential life skills. Innovation can make the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary, or even success and failure.
History is full of legendary pioneers, mavericks and visionaries who have transformed the fields of art, music, science and business, but what lessons can we learn from them in order to start thinking in the same innovative way ourselves?
Think Like An Innovator is the fascinating new book from the UK’s top leadership speaker on innovation, lateral thinking and creativity, Paul Sloane. As the founder of Destination Innovation, he has helped hundreds of business leaders to overcome challenges through innovative thinking, and has sold more than 2 million copies of his books on the topic.
Think Like An Innovator features lessons from 76 different innovators categorised into artists, business leaders, geniuses, inventors, mavericks, pioneers, scientists and visionaries. Each fascinating insight, covered in 500 words or less, provides a brief bio about the individual, the challenge they faced and how their innovative solution overcame it. Crucially, the book then gives lessons to take away, enabling you to draw parallels and apply their innovation to the challenges your own life or work.
Legendary innovators and their lessons include:
- Woody Allen: Recruit people who are cleverer than you and then give them the freedom to work on their own. Woody Allen tells his stars what the goals are and then asks for their ideas and suggestions. Very often, other people’s best ideas are better than yours, so don’t be afraid to go with their ideas
- David Bowie: Be promiscuous in your collaborations. Bowie kept looking for fresh ideas – some of which surprised and annoyed his original fans but earned him new ones.
- Hans Christian Anderson: Mix with people outside your comfort zone. Hans Christian Andersen went to a lunatic asylum to hear the stories of warders and inmates. They fuelled his imagination.
- Levi Strauss: When one line of approach fails, try another. Use a setback as a spur to innovation. Strauss did not persist in pushing tents when there was little demand. He adapted and used the tenting material to make trousers. He produced what his customers needed.
- William Shakespeare: Borrow with pride. If borrowing and developing storylines from others was good enough for Shakespeare, then it is good enough for the rest of us. We can benefit from his technique of taking a good idea and developing it with our own individual notions and style.