Chapter 1 Think

Innovators think.

I don't mean they are all super-intelligent. I mean they regularly spend time trying to think of ways of making things better.

‘But wait a minute,' you might reply. ‘I spend my whole day thinking. That's why I'm so tired and crabby every evening.'

Do you, though? How much of your day do you spend thinking, and how much of it do you spend reacting, responding, coping, going to meetings, arranging meetings, managing others, being managed, reading emails, answering emails, talking on the phone, retrieving and replying to messages on your mobile that you missed because you were on your landline, retrieving and replying to messages on your landline that you missed because you were on your mobile … ?

How often do you get to the end of the day and realise that you have not had one spare moment to think?

Usually when I ask groups this question, pretty much everyone in the room puts up their hand.

Innovators don't let that happen. They don't treat innovation as something they do if they have time after they have finished all their work. They realise that innovation is the work.

Prioritise thinking

When I say that innovators think, I mean they prioritise thinking. They realise that thinking is important, so they make sure they do it. They spend time — often a bit of time each day — thinking about how to make things better. They don't do it when they are tired. They pick a time of the day when their mind is fresh and they try to work out how to solve ...

Get Innovation is a State of Mind now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.