But to make all these happen, we also need people with the right attitude.
That thirst, curiosity and desire to change are fundamental to innovation, which really starts at ourselves. Recognising the problem that we want to solve, and knowing that it’s potentially solvable, give us the confidence to go on and figure out the resources needed to achieve that change.
This attitude can be cultivated and nurtured.
I have two young children, and my wife and I try to create an environment where they can learn how to fall and get up quickly. We want them to have the courage to go explore and try new things without worries of failing. This is something that we often overlook, especially in our Asian culture where we value discipline, conformity, and not getting out of line. But to stimulate that innovative thinking, we have to get away from that fear. As long as you have a clear direction as to where you want to go, don’t fear failing; fear not trying.
As grown-ups, we can become numb to new opportunities
because we’re just so busy and tired. That’s why I ask my team to allocate 20% of their time each week to simply reflect on what they want to do, what they are doing now and what they want done next – which will ultimately lead to the question: “Why am I still doing the same thing?” We need continuous optimisation to drive a whole new freshness to what we bring to the table.
We also need to talk to people outside of our immediate domain to keep our minds fresh.
This is actually why it’s so exciting for me to be part of this industry, where we have creatives working with technologists, who are usually very analytical. It’s not easy to break our own silos down and collaborate with people who are so different from us, yet it opens our eyes and unlocks true innovation.
Finally, innovation happens when we get out of the routine.
Take a different route to work, experience something different – it forces you to take notice again and stimulates your mind. Sometimes we need a nudge to switch things up, so as a leader and an enabler, it’s my job to encourage and give individuals the opportunity to try something that they don’t normally do; something that taps into their talents and innovative minds. And that in turn inspires me to keep pushing forward to expand, explore and grow.
What else does it take to activate our innovative spirit? Read about the Power of 5G with HKT’s Natalie Chan.
Do you work at Taikoo Place and want to be featured in The Power Series? Get in touch.