The Audacity to Innovate

by Sandy Nelson on May 18, 2011

Innovators operating at the leading edge are people who are deeply engaged in specific domains of interest and focus, hold a passionate vision, know what matters to them, stand on a solid foundation of values, standards and guiding principles, and build competency in translating imagination into action – on a dime.

These are not individuals who sit waiting for revelation, permission or requests. Constantly reading the world to see what’s there, what’s missing and what’s possible, they listen carefully, have strong intuitive antennae for opportunity, and proactively take action to create new possibilities, fill gaps, solve problems, and importantly, lift the human spirit.

People and organizations who innovate at the leading edge are able to step outside convention and comfort zones. They become masters of observation and listening by remaining in constant practice and learning to step outside history and traditions to see new possibilities. By rapidly and daringly translating their listening and observations into creative action, they anticipate markets and fulfill aspirations well ahead of the competition.

Think about it. Notice the people and firms whose products and services you love to interact with and support through investment and/or engagement. Who do you praise to friends, colleagues and other members of your community? Where, when and with whom are you routinely surprised and delighted? Customer surprise and delight, and that singular lift of the spirit that accompanies each, are the tickets to admission to passionate loyalty and advocacy among customers.

Want to thrive while others languish in this complex economy? Take the time and make the space to learn the practices successful innovators use. Trust your inherent creativity to listen well, see what’s missing and possible. Be audacious and take action to innovate now!


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