This is the first of the Laws of Innovation: Everything changes - people, products, companies; Men, Materials, Machines, Methods, Markets and Money (6M). The decision to change is in your hands but there are challenges to growth.
Innovation is about transformation. Imagine a block of ice. It is cold, solid, and transparent. But it is not a block of ice forever. It melts and flows across boundaries. Water follows its own logic which is very different from the logic of ice. Water goes to many places, has many adventures, but always comes back to its own nature – cool, beautiful and still. If you heat it, it boils; keep heating, it gets airborne by becoming steam, steam that knows the freedom of the skies, steam that cannot be held captive. Add pressure and it can rotate turbines to generate power.
Transformation is what happens to a drop of water when it is touched by the magic of sunlight. It becomes a rainbow. It is what happens to a seed when it starts the journey to become a mighty banyan tree. The banyan tree is not an improved seed, just as a butterfly is not an improved caterpillar or a rainbow an improved drop of water. By definition, innovation is taking interesting ideas and transforming them into usable solutions for solving business problems.
Turning ordinary men into matchless warriors full of the enthusiasm to win, can definitely improve performance. Gandhiji did just that using his magic mantras to infuse courage into the freedom struggle : Do or Die, Quit India, Vande Matharam.
Among the nava rasas, chivalry is key to the life of a warrior: a corporate warrior is no different and needs real courage. Wonder is developed from courage. The rapture of courage is produced by means of energy, perseverance, optimism, presence of mind and kindness. Courage and bravery are definitely feel-good emotions. Courage is represented on the stage by firmness, patience, heroism, pride, zeal, valor and wit. Bravery fills you with enthusiasm, energy and spontaneity. Bravery is not just bravery in war. It is the small, everyday acts of courage that each of us is called upon to manifest in the face of obstacles. The ability to sacrifice, which is the core of emotional intelligence, is a part of the Veera Rasa. The ability to persist in the face of difficulties is a part of this. To meet the jealousy and pettiness of the world with gentleness, humor and fearlessness, is part of it. Brilliance and elegance belong to the true warrior who aligns himself with the powerful forces of goodness. ‘Josh,’ wakefulness, energy and boundless enthusiasm are an expression of this energy.
Picasso is said to have seen the handlebars of a bicycle and created the thoroughly modern ‘Bull’ from the handlebars. Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s fantastic, vivid poem, Kubla Khan, was written after a fevered dream. Whether it is Archimedes discovering the laws of displacement and screaming his `Eureka’ moment through the streets of Syracuse or Madam Curie discovering the iridescent gleam of radium in her cluttered garret laboratory, the moment seems to be a flash of inspiration. The idea of evolution floated into Darwin’s mind as he read the essay on the Malthusian nightmare of overpopulation and overcrowding. But luck of course favours the prepared mind. Of course Newton and his apple or any of the others would never have reached that moment of seeming serendipity, if they had not preceded it by long hours of toil. A total obsession and long years of preparation and effort seem to stand silently behind that limelight moment of sheer magical discovery.
• Action Plan to win tough times
• Use this time to do more. Remember you will get good at something you keep doing. Most people better than you, have just spent more time doing, instead of complaining, dreaming or wishing. Do more.
• Give yourself bigger and better goals whatever happens, keep a positive attitude. You probably talk more to yourself than anyone else on earth. Make sure your self talk is positive and nurturing
• Encourage yourself, keep doing a little bit every day to realize your dreams. Every single day – like your exercises. One day you will reach the top of the mountain.
• Build your networks. Stretch out a helping hand to those who need it. Nothing like bad times to bring families and teams together.
• Be encouraging and supportive to other people’s efforts. No discouraging word should pass your lips. Focus on your family.
• Thinking during tough times forces us to think outside the box or even eliminate the box.
• Create an environment that is replete with the positive emotions of love, courage, compassion, laughter, wonder and peace. This is the positive field that will nurture creativity and innovation.
• Adapt and evolve. Remember nothing lasts. Especially not tough times!
Dr. Rekha Shetty is Managing Director of Farstar Distribution Network, a unique consultancy company devoted exclusively to innovation and creativity under the brand name Mindspower.She is an author, an entrepreneur and an original thinker. Her long term Innovation Initiative, using 47 thinking tools helps in a steep increase in profits, reduction in costs, while improving customer satisfaction levels and employee participation levels. She is a consultant to ICICI Bank, Ashok Leyland Ltd., Hyundai Motors Ltd., TVS Group, TI Group, Durgapur Steel Plant, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and other blue chip companies.
In her very first assignment in United India Insurance, she developed a nationally acclaimed advertising campaign. During the last seventeen years, she has specialized in the field of Creativity in Management and developed her own management brand, Mindspower. She was one of Asia’s first women District Governors for Rotary International and was awarded Rotary’s highest Award – Service above Self.
Her fourth book “Innovate! 90 Days to Transform your Business” is under print and will be released by Penguin during May 2010.