I am currently preparing a lecture on Innovation for CPH-U, and once again I will pass on a lesson learned from my riding instructor:
“As soon as your horse is committed to a jump, your focus must be on the nextobstacle. By doing this you will shift your weight, and your horse will respond, landing on the correct leg and knowing exactly where to go – saving crucial seconds.”
This has proved to be a valuable life lesson: commit to the present, but focus on the next innovative opportunity. Be responsive and you will know exactly where to go! Every innovative idea I ever had seems to have arisen at the interface between areas in which I – or my colleagues or collaborators – are currently committed: between Discovery teams and Development teams, between Development teams and Applications teams…
… and I am becoming increasingly aware of a number of phrases that keep popping up during these discussions, such as “But…”, “However…”, “Surprisingly…”, “In contrast…” – key indicators of a potential innovative opportunity in the making!
And there it is – my message to my students: identify the indicators of innovative opportunities and focus on these while committing to your current core activities. Commit to core activities but focus on strategic opportunities.
Bonus information: if you search for the above phrases while reading scientific literature prior to preparing a review or thesis, you will identify the areas of contention within your scientific field. These are the areas you should focus on – ALWAYS explore them and ALWAYS offer your opinion… this is the difference between a mediocre thesis and a great one!
Harry Teicher is the founder of BIOSCIENCE SOLUTIONS and an Authorpreneur, providing organizations with Strategic- and Project Management as well as Development & Communication solutions. Follow him on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook.