Building an Innovation Mindset

By Jeff Gaspersz

The prime source of the innovation power in any firm lies in the mind of its employees. When they are mentally prepared for discovering and realising new opportunities, the organisation will possess an enduring capacity to innovate.  Below, Jeff Gaspersz highlights the small initiatives managers can take with a profound impact on developing an innovation mindset.


How Paul Discovers Opportunities
I have a ninety-year-old colleague, Paul, still teaching at our university with a vibrant energy. After earning his PhD at the age of seventy-nine, he took flying lessons, followed many courses, wrote ten books and numerous articles. He established a new magazine and writes a weekly blog. Paul belongs to a group of extraordinary people with a mindset aimed at continuously discovering and realising new possibilities.

When I asked Paul for his secret, he revealed that it consisted of two daily questions that prepared him for discovery. He has asked himself these questions for most of his life. His first question is: what have I learned today? His second question is: what can I improve tomorrow? Each evening he writes his answers to both questions in a small notebook.

This daily ritual changed his perception. Paul wants to continue to learn and improve until the very end of his life. With these two questions, he has developed a way of approaching everyday life as a meaningful universe where possibilities and opportunities for learning and improving abound. It is the same phenomenon that occurs when we have bought a car of a certain brand, in the colour of our choice. Suddenly we begin to notice exactly the same car on many roads.

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