How can we foster innovation in individuals?

There has been no shortage of research examining how to create innovative organizations.  A recent study from the University of South Florida examined both what innovation is, and how it can be cultivated, especially in us as individuals.

“Relatively little is known about how we can cultivate innovative thinking,” the authors say, “and even less is known about how we can help individuals use and improve their innovative powers.”

So what makes an individual innovative?  The authors pinpoint six key characteristics:

The timing of an innovative idea; The environment in which the idea is formulated and developed; The time to develop an idea or inspiration; The time and organizational environment that allows for idea cross-fertilization; Learning from errors; and The development of an idea in one field that can be adapted in another. Building on your raw material

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