Uploaded by Yu Lun Wu


VERYONE has ideas. Innovation is within each of us. We just
need to unlock it. Many of us have experienced negative
reactions to our ideas and so tend to hold back sharing new
ones. If we are going to be an innovator, we need to have a
healthy relationship with change. Change is an opportunity to
Tamara Ghandour defines innovation as “thinking
differently about what’s right in front of you to create
an advantage” in her book Innovation is Everybody’s
Business. There are opportunities in the functions we perform
every day. People at all levels of an organization see things
differently and can add value to an organization through
innovation. Innovation is not for a select few.
To help us ignite the innovative mindset that exists inside of all
of us, Ghandour has identified nine styles (or triggers) of
innovation that relates to how we approach innovation. (You
can discover yours by taking the Innovation Quotient Edge
(IQE) assessment on her website. The assessment identifies
your top two innovation styles and your single dormant trigger.)
I believe, like any of our behavioral proclivities, these triggers
are not set in stone as they are not part of our DNA, but
preferences that we have developed over time. Nevertheless,
these styles are helpful for understanding how we approach and
think about and execute on ideas, and importantly how we
relate and respond to others based on differences in
“Much like the difference in your overall personality,” Ghandour
writes, “you have a unique way of innovating. In fact, there are
nine distinct styles of innovation. They show up in your
personality, preference, work style, behaviors, and
actions.” The nine triggers are:
As a Collaborative, you create intersections of randomness by
constantly tapping disparate people and ideas. You are
motivated by making connections.
As an Experiential, you think in motion bringing ideas to life by
leaping the chasm from theory to reality. You are motivated by
building something.
As a Fluid, you turn ambiguity into clarity. Uncharted territory
becomes your path to new ideas. You are motivated by creating
As a Futuristic, you always think about what’s next. Tomorrow’s
possibilities energize you, not today’s challenges. You are
motivated by future plans.
As an Imaginative, your vivid mind constantly creates new
things. You turn wild thinking into real-world ideas. You are
motivated by ringing novelty.
As an Inquisitive, curiosity defines you. You recognize that
innovation is in the questions, not the answers. You are
motivated by uncovering things.
As an Instinctual, you tap the more intuitive part of the mind.
You connect the dots in new and meaningful ways. You are
motivated by finding connections.
Risk Taker
As a Risk Taker, your adventurous spirit likes to take bold
action. You willingly pursue unproven yet high potential ideas.
You are motivated by bold opportunities.
As a Tweaker, you look for ways to improve and change. You
reserve judgment an allow ideas time to grow. You are
motivated by problem-solving.
Identifying and understanding these innovation triggers not
only helps you to see what gets your creative juices flowing and
ignite your innovative flame, but it also helps you to know how
you come across to others. That’s very helpful when it comes to
presenting your ideas and working within teams.
For example, if one of your two predominant innovation
triggers is Risk-Taker, your communication style is declarative
and opportunistic. Your language reflects words like “I, me,
daring, impact, change, disruptive, I challenge, why not.”
It is difficult to make the connections necessary for innovative
thinking with the stimulus we receive every day. Our minds
react by filtering out what doesn’t fit with what we already know
or think. Ghandour offers some tips to help us overcome this
confirmation bias.
1. Play your own devil’s advocate.
2. Pretend you are walking in someone else’s shoes.
3. Ask yourself what else could be true.
4. Actively take in alternate perspectives.
In addition, she offers this constructive advice: Calm the lizard
brain down by letting it know the analysis is coming after you
innovate. Don’t sabotage your ideas by jumping to judgment too
quickly. There’s a time for that. Let your mind explore the
possibilities, then do a reality check.