June 29, 2012
Skillset vs. Mindset

Innovation-1.jpg

Yesterday, as one of my favorite clients was introducing me as the day's presenter at one of her company's leadership development programs, something she said caught my attention:

"Innovation skills."

That's what she was telling the 41 business leaders of the future they were going to learn from me.

Yes, it was true. I was going to help these good people become more skillful at innovating. That's what I do. But that was only half the story.

Actually, less than half. Much less.

If there's one thing I've learned these past 25 years of working as an innovation provocateur, it's this: mindset -- not skillset -- is the name of the game in business these days, no matter what the rules or lack thereof.

Keys-to-the-entrepreneur-mindset-300x300.jpg

When a person's mindset (i.e. receptivity, curiosity, adaptability, enthusiasm, focus) is in the right place, skillset becomes secondary.

Is acquiring new skills useful? Of course it is.

If you're about to have surgery, you want to know the man with the scalpel knows what he's doing, But all the skills in the world become useless if the mind of the physician is cloudy.

I'm talking attitude. Viewpoint. Approach. Not what you look at, but what you see.

Psychologists have boiled down the phenomenon to three words: "Motivation affects perception".

If you're driving through a town and are hungry, what do you see? Restaurants. If you're running out of gas, it's gas stations you notice. And if someone you love is dying, you become suddenly amazed at how many funeral parlors there are.

My mentor once put it this way: "When a pickpocket meets a saint, all he sees are his pockets."

Bottom line, if you want to jump start innovation -- in your self, in your team, or your company, begin paying more attention to mindset. Be willing to make the effort required to help yourself and others enter into the frame of mind most conducive to innovating.

Because in the end, it's less about where you're going, than where you're coming from.

What we do
Who we are
Our values
Seeing the invisible
Why most innovation initiatives fail

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at June 29, 2012 11:35 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


Who Are We?

Idea Champions is a consulting and training company dedicated to awakening and nurturing the spirit of innovation. We help individuals, teams and entire organizations tap into their innate ability to create, develop and implement ideas that make a difference.

Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
Webinars Powered by
Idea Champions University

Webinars for online training If you enjoy our blog, you will love our newly launched webinars! Our training is now accessible online to the whole world.

Visit IdeaChampionsUniversity.com to find out more.
Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
Awake at the Wheel, Book about big ideas If you're looking for a powerful way to jump start innovation and get your creative juices flowing, Awake at the Wheel is for you. Written by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions.
See Mitch's keynote address Enjoy a 7-minute interview with Mitch at the Ethical Sourcing Forum in NYC: 3/28/11
Featured in Alltop Guy Kawasaki's Alltop "online magazine rack" has recognized Idea Champions' blog as one of the leading innovation blogs on the web. Check out The Heart of Innovation, and subscribe!
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN

Breakthrough Cafe.
A totally unique brainstorming salon. Great food. Great food for thought. Great people. Collaborate, have fun, get out of the box.

"Inno-waiters With Whine Lists" – The Breakthrough Cafe featured in January 2006 issue of
© IDEA CHAMPIONS