The Gold Rush for Innovation Talent

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The Great 21st Century Gold Rush is on, and it’s not for oil or cheap labor or low taxes or MBAs. It’s not for capital or technology or business friendly government policies. It’s for talent. Specifically it’s for the kind of talent that contributes to innovation. That’s what a recent survey of hundreds of manufacturing CEOs found to be the number one factor driving global competitiveness: access to talented workers capable of supporting innovation. (And you can bet that the same applies to other industries as well, perhaps more so.)

Now here’s the crucial question: If you’re going looking for such workers, how do you know when you’ve found one? Resume’s are all about what they already know, where they’ve been, what they’ve done. While that’s helpful, it doesn’t necessarily predict where they’re going, which is of course what innovation is all about. Who really has a predisposition for innovation and who doesn’t (or at least needs to develop one)? Who is adaptable to change and who tends to resisit it? Who knows how to manage the inherent risks that come with trying new things, and who’s first instinct is to simply avoid such risks whenever posssible? And perhaps most importantly: Who knows how to provide the kind of leadership that will nurture a culture of innovation and who is more likely to undermine it?

Sure, you can probably figure those things out over time but wouldn’t you rather know before you hire them? Before you put them on your team? Before you decide to give them that key leadership role? Wouldn’t you like to identify any innovation gaps that may exist with individuals and teams and have a strategy to close those gaps and strengthen that skill set?

This is not about experience or expertise (which can at times obstruct innovation); it’s about mindset. It’s about how someone generates ideas, experiments, observes and makes discoveries. It’s about their ability to examine and revise their own assumptions and beliefs and perceptions in order to reach valuable new insights. It’s about mental agility.

So how in the world do you measure, much less develop, someone’s innovation mindset? We’ve found a way to do exactly that, using a unique research-based assessment that calibrates a person’s attitudes, assumptions and beliefs as they relate to the whole range of behaviors that are necessary for successful innovation. This is not a personality profile but rather a snapshot of many of the often-subconscious assumptions and choices we all make that impact our behavior and adaptability.

Let me repeat that: We measure a person’s choices and our choices are things we each control (once we recognize what those choices are). So while this is an effective screening tool, it’s even more effective as a tool for personal and organizational development to strengthen the capacity for innovation.

Are you interested in enhancing the innovation capacity of your team or organization—or in boosting your own capacity to innovate—by discovering great new insights and breakthrough solutions? Find out how at www.insightfusion.com/assessment.asp or contact us at www.insightfusion.com/Contact.asp and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

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