Fearless Innovation

You are the hero of this story, about to start on the epic quest of R&D to discover a new magic solution to vanquish a belligerent old enemy.

Like any hero you need to be fearless. Here are the five reasons why:

Fearless of Change

It is all too easy to be too precious about the idea that start you innovation journey. Like the hero in a Pixar movie who starts off thinking their journey is all about one thing, but wins through only when they let go of it, you need to be fearless that your idea can and will change. Like many start-ups, you will probably pivot completely to focus on something you learn or build in the early phases. Be fearless of change and give yourself some space to do it.

Fearless of Getting Lost

R&D is an opportunity to explore deeply and broadly, something we usually don’t give ourselves the permission to do. Most of us have to fight the tendency or else find ourselves going down a rabbit hole on the internet, but early in the R&D process you need to research far and wide. You may be more comfortable staying with what you know, but inspiration and innovation often seem to appear when you feel you are losing sight of the core of your project. Wander so you can return and see the problem afresh.

Fearless of Criticism

Because there is no expertise without feedback. Yes, we need to be confident that our expertise and perspective are our unique strength, but we also need to be confident enough to take feedback and advice. Without feedback our expertise stagnates and we will be very lucky to create something that works beyond the limits of our own narrow perspective.

Fearless of Jargon

The majority of innovation is intertwined with the development of technology, and there are so many different technologies that no-one understands them all. Don’t be scared of talking about tech, ask the stupid questions until you find someone who can explain things well.

Fearless of Failure

The quickest and clearest lessons come when we make mistakes. When you push the boundaries you are never going to get things perfect and you need to learn to learn quickly from the errors, misjudgements and unintended consequences along the way (and if you are smart learning from other people’s as well). Fail fast, to succeed quicker.