What sets truly disruptive innovators apart? According to Hal Gregersen, Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center and co-author of The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators, innovators have a special set of skills that help them create value-generating ideas. Observation is one of those skills, and one that engages multiple senses. The observations innovators make spark questions that, and as we covered in our previous post on this topic, can challenge common wisdom. Innovators carefully watch the world around them, and they connect common threads among unconnected data. They are keenly aware of what doesn't work and innovate uncommon business ideas to solve them.
For innovators, this observation skill is always turned on. For the rest of us, it's an untapped resource.
Developing your skills of observation
So what does Gregersen's research tell us about improving our own ability to observe, and turning those observations into value? He suggests the following tips for developing this important skill: