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Innovation is Everybody's Business: How to Make Yourself Indispensable in Today's Hypercompetitive World by Robert B. Tucker

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Chapter 2. The I-Skill Principles: Innovation Is Not Something You Do After You Get Your Work Done; It's How You Approach Your Work

Anne Mulcahy, the chief executive officer (CEO) who revived Xerox after a brush with bankruptcy, was asked recently whether she looked for different qualities in job candidates than in years past.

"We look for adaptability and flexibility," she replied. "We have to change all the time. The people who really do the best are those who actually sense the need to change, and enjoy the lack of definition around their roles and what they can contribute."

Asked how she gets a sense of whether a person has that quality, she explained that Xerox now looks at a candidate's "appetite for not just vertical career ladders, but their appetite for what I call horizontal experiences, where it wasn't always just about a title or the next layer up. And there was this desire to learn new things, to kind of grab on to things that were maybe even somewhat nontraditional."

What you're going to find in this book are nontraditional skills. They will demand you learn new ways. They will require that you adopt a new mindset. But before we delve into exploring specific aptitudes, we need to define what innovation means. There are so many misconceptions about this word.

Innovation is the act of "coming up with ideas and bringing them to life." Anytime you come up with an idea—a big, bold, game-changing idea all the way down to "pick up the dry cleaning on the way home"—you are engaged ...

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