"Innovation happens at the intersections" quote at Givent, networking event in Idaho


You may have heard that the ability to innovate is the “secret sauce” of business success. And then you might have asked yourself, “How do I find innovative people for my organization? And how can I become more innovative myself?”

In the book, The Innovators DNA written by Jeffrey H. Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen, the authors discuss their research and findings that help us identify 5 “discovery skills” that distinguish the most creative executives. Learning these skills can help us add more “secret sauce” and therefore success to our business.

The 5 are as follows: 1) associating, 2) questioning, 3) observing, 4) experimenting, & 5) networking.  The two I’d like to focus on are associating and networking.

ASSOCIATING, or the ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields, is central to the innovator’s DNA. Entrepreneur Frans Johansson described this phenomenon as the “Medici effect,” referring to the creative explosion in Florence when the Medici family brought together people from a wide range of disciplines—sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, painters, and architects. As these individuals connected, new ideas blossomed at the intersections of their respective fields, thereby spawning the Renaissance, one of the most inventive eras in history.

NETWORKING, or devoting time and energy to finding and testing ideas through a network of diverse individuals, gives innovators a radically different perspective.  Unlike most executives—who network to access resources, to sell themselves or their companies, or to boost their careers—innovative entrepreneurs go out of their way to meet people with different kinds of ideas and perspectives to extend their own knowledge domains. To this end, they make a conscious effort to visit other countries and meet people from other walks of life.

In Summary

Fresh inputs trigger new associations; and for some, these lead to novel ideas. As innovator, Steve Jobs has frequently observed, “Creativity is connecting things.”  I couldn’t help but smile in learning this information, since we at GIVENT connect persons, places, and things all the time. It’s what we do best.

Happy innovating!


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Innovative Networking

Innovative Associating