Innovation and Deliberate Practice: How to Keep Your Business Ahead of the Curve

Although it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that innovation can be achieved by simply cobbling together a couple of your ideas, this conclusion is typically wrong. Instead, the most successful innovators and entrepreneurs are those who have mastered systems-thinking and deliberate practice principles. Moreover, these principles from Thematicessay are just as important in other areas outside of business – like personal development. It’s time to get deliberate with your life!

Innovation is Repeatedly Finding New Solutions To The Same Problem

The first step towards innovation is to understand that innovation involves more than simply having a great idea. In fact, having a “me too” idea is usually a waste of time because you are simply copying what other people have done. Instead, innovation involves finding new solutions to the same problem. This means that innovation involves identifying problems in your business that have never been solved before.

Finding new solutions to existing problems can result in incremental improvements or it can result in the industry changing activity which is considered “disruptive innovation”. What all innovative activities have in common, however, is that they involve going beyond the current situation and looking for new ways of solving problems.

Partly because many businesses suffer from tunnel vision (i.e., focusing on incremental improvement), most businesses don’t go beyond their existing situation and become truly innovative. One of the reasons for this is because many people have a hard time thinking outside of the norm.

Just think about the plethora of businesses that existed 10 years ago and how few of them are relevant today. Even companies, such as Yahoo, which have been around for almost two decades are struggling to stay relevant. The bottom line is that the market place is changing too fast for incremental innovation to be enough in our hyper-connected world. Instead, you must master systems-thinking and repeatedly find new solutions to existing problems in order to “innovate” or risk being left behind.

When looking for solutions to problems in your industry, it’s important to play the long game. By that I mean that you need to recognize that many of the challenges facing your industry are unlikely to be resolved within a few years. By focusing on solving problems in a short term manner, you will miss opportunities that occur far into the future. The best way to ensure you do not make this mistake is by devoting time and effort into thinking about what could be possible down the road.

A Millennial Guide To Systems Thinking

In order for you to understand systems-thinking, it’s helpful for you to have some understanding of how computers work. This is because computers have great utility for systems thinkers, as thinking of how computers work is similar to how systems-thinking works.

For example, in order for a computer to work it needs to have an operating system. Otherwise the computer would simply freeze up and stop working. In general, operating systems are incredibly complicated and take years of development time to build. However, once they are created anyone can use them without having any idea how they work.

Likewise, in order for business or personal success to occur your life needs an operating system – something that makes everything function smoothly without requiring you to know all the parts working together. You also need a system of mental models that help you figure out what some of the key problems and opportunities are in your life. For you to operate well, these systems must be constantly updated.

The following description of systems thinking came from Wikipedia:

“Systems thinking is a holistic, problem-based approach to human activities that looks at the whole system from the smallest component to the relationships among all its parts as a coherent entity operating in accordance with its own internal laws. It emphasizes understanding an entire system or system of systems, rather than only focusing on specific parts of it.”

Systems thinking is not something that just anyone can do. Instead it requires a lot of practice. One of the most effective methods for increasing your systems thinking skills is through “deliberate practice”.

The Fundamental Role Of Practice In Innovation

If you were to ask most people what they practice in life, most would reply that they practice their craft. For example, when you ask an accountant about how they practice accountancy most would reply that they do so at work. However, this means that they are focusing only on their current environment and not getting deliberate with their craft by practicing outside of it. The bottom line is that many people do not realize the fundamental role of deliberate practice in being successful at anything in life. This is because most people focus on only the practices within their current environment and not the practices outside of their environment.

Being deliberate with your practice means practicing outside of your normal working environment. The best way for you to do this is by setting up deliberate practice sessions in your life, such as a board game once a week with friends or attending Meetup events. These training sessions are incredibly important because they provide you with an opportunity for you to experiment and learn through “failure” what not to do, so that you will be better prepared when working in a similar situation in the future.

The Most Important Skills You Need To Be Successful In Life

Without mastery of any unique set of soft skills your chances of success are limited. One such set of skills is being able to build, manage and lead teams. Of course, this requires a great deal of discipline, practice and knowledge about what you are doing. However, when you master these skills you also gain control over a much larger part of your life.

Building, managing and leading teams requires a fundamental understanding about how each person in the organization works together with other people in the team over time. The best way to understand this dynamic is through a concept developed by sociologist Lawrence Kohlberg called the “Stages of Moral Development” which has been highly influential in both psychology and philosophy.

This model is also useful for team leaders, because it provides a framework that you can use to more effectively lead and manage people. Ultimately, if you master this skill you will be able to provide yourself with an opportunity for more success in your life.