Innovation And Beliefs

At Anatellô we have many tools and techniques to help our clients innovate. We feel they are a vital part of the process of innovation.

However, as we all know, if we want to innovate successfully, it's not just about tools and techniques. Many factors need to come together. One of the less frequently mentioned - but potentially the greatest determiner of the success or failure of an innovation project, is the area of the beliefs of the individuals in the team.

Do you believe you can climb Everest? OK, Everest is very high and takes special training, but how about Ben Nevis? Snowdon? Could you complete an Annapurna trek or climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park?

Mountaineering, canyoning and trekking all provide great analogies for innovation projects. Both involve covering challenging terrain, dealing with varying conditions, and provide a journey that can be demanding both physically and emotionally.

So, back to those mountains. All of them provide a challenge, but Everest aside, they are all achievable by people who are reasonably fit. Depending on where you live and your experience of travel, some of those climbs and treks may seem more formidable than others.

My question is, do you feel confident to climb one? More specifically, what do you believe about your ability to climb, or to do that mountain trek?

As in climbing and trekking, your beliefs about what you can achieve in innovation projects are just as important as your tools and techniques - probably more so.

Do you believe that a real alternative to the internal combustion engine can be found? Do you believe it can be developed and brought to market in the next 5 years?

I do

Maybe you think I'm mad. The internal combustion engine is an amazing invention - efficient and widely adopted. Even though we need alternatives to burning fossil fuels, how can an alternative be found? How can I believe that?

I believe it because it is the most resourceful belief to have - if I am working on the project, or if I have a client who is working on such a project.

Disagree? Think of the alternative. I'm tasked with helping to find a non-fossil fuel burning engine - but I don't believe it's possible. How much of a waste of time would all that innovation planning, research and development be?

What do you believe about your innovation projects and what they will deliver?

Going back to the mountains. Some time ago, I remember a friend once cajoling me into a challenging hike. I went along reluctantly and with trepidation. Then we were at the top of the mountain admiring the views.

I let out a long sigh, "I didn't think I could do that. It's great. What a result!"

As innovators we need to believe in what we can do - however unrealistic may sound. Where belief is lacking we need motivating partners and coaches.

The great thing about beliefs is that we can change them. We can change disempowering beliefs to empowering ones. If we want to, we can even strengthen our beliefs to the level of conviction.

Innovation tools and techniques + empowering beliefs = innovation success.