A book to understand
and apply the thinking of the
world's leading innovators
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How you think
determines your
capacity to innovate

How Innovators Think is a project to identify the peculiar thinking patterns of the world's leading innovators. Over the course of conversations with innovation practitioners, by way of remarkable stories drawn from the history of innovation, and through my own experience as an entrepreneur, I observe the same core beliefs guiding the actions of those who strive to make a difference.

Innovation is an imperative in today's world, yet few people or organizations are getting it right. Why? Because innovation is not about money: wealthy organizations routinely struggle to innovate. Innovation is not about talent: many faltering companies are filled with smart people. Innovation is not about knowledge: most CEOs know what they should be doing. So what gives innovators their power to break through?

The big lies

The Big Lies About Innovation

In order to get at the truth of the world we live in, innovators know how to see beyond the big lies.

Everybody loves innovation

Wrong. Human beings are wired to minimize change and maximize routine.

Innovating is easy

Wrong. Innovation is hard because it is not a process or a project; it's a culture.

Innovation goes too fast

Wrong. From an innovator's perspective, change is painfully slow.

You need to innovate first

Wrong. Facebook isn't the first social network, but it hopes to be the last.

Money innovates

Wrong. Nokia had three times the R&D budget of Apple, but look who released the iPhone.

Innovation = technology

Wrong. Innovation takes the form of business models, processes, policies, products, services, and more.

Hype covers your ass

Wrong. Believe the hype and you may be that guy on the Segway wearing Google Glass.

It all starts with an idea

Wrong. Ideas are commodities. The challenge is to focus on the right idea.

Innovation requires experience

Wrong. First time innovators routinely succeed.

How Innovators Think

Think like an innovator.

Treat success as a challenge

Success means you have something to lose, and it makes you complacent and risk-averse.

Change when things are good

The time to change is when investment in the future is still possible.

Don’t fight the inevitable

Carve out your place in the new order so you can be in a position to dictate new terms.

Protect the future

You must choose between protecting the future from the past or protecting the past from the future.

Cannibalize yourself

Are you doing something that's eating into your existing business? Do more of that!

Unlearn, relearn

A truly flexible mind constitutes basic literacy for the 21st century.

Enjoy uncertainties

You can measure an organization's level of innovation by its capacity to bear uncertainties.

Listen without obeying

Innovators always listen, but never do what people say.

Learn the barbarians’s language

You can’t fight digital attackers if you don’t speak their language.

Get involved

Let's change how the world innovates.

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About the author

Laurent Haug

 

Laurent Haug's job is to search for the emerging ideas, people and organizations that will make a meaningful impact in the coming years. Using my experience, resources and network, I nurture those pockets of positive change through guidance, investments, connections, events, speaking and writing. Good futures are already here, my goal is to make them more evenly distributed.

You can contact him on hello at laurenthaug dot com

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