Qualities of an Innovator
“Take creative chances. Learning to innovate isn’t about being perfect; it’s about being creative and having fun.”—Tom Kelly
The Family is changing. To succeed, we all will need to be changing too. Every business has to seek and find new opportunities, create new products and advertising campaigns, update their methods and production lines. There is no way around change, innovation, and pioneering if anyone, us included, wants to be on the cutting edge, advancing into the future and scooping up the success that awaits them there.
The need for innovation applies to our personal goals, Home goals, and Offensive goals. What we did in the past will likely need to be adapted, tweaked, changed, or canned, and that’s going to require innovation.
Here’s something the Lord said in “Liftoff!” that highlights this point:
Jesus: The world is not static, and the needs of those in the world are also not static. If you’re a professional of the Offensive, you’ll stay fresh and open to new ideas, new ways of reaching people, new products, new needs or vacuums that can be filled. Innovation in your witnessing and winning is key, so that you’ll change with the times, because I promise you, change is guaranteed.
So since innovation is so key to reaching our Offensive goals, as well as our personal goals and Home goals, let’s look at some of the basics.
When Ignorance Is Bliss
It’s a pickle of a paradox: As our knowledge and expertise increase, our creativity and ability to innovate tend to taper off. Why? Because the walls of the proverbial box in which we think are thickening, along with our experience.
In other words, as you increase in expertise it becomes nearly impossible to look beyond what you know and think outside the box you’ve built around yourself.
This “curse of knowledge,” means that once you’ve become an expert in a particular subject, it’s hard to imagine not knowing what you do. When it’s time to accomplish a task, those in the know get it done the way it has always been done, stifling innovation as they barrel along the well-worn path.
Thinking “out of the box”
Q: The term “out of the box” sounds good and we all want to be “out of the box,” but how do we get there?
Jesus: Thinking “out of the box” is simply thinking outside of yourself. It means being humble enough to empty yourself of “you” so you can open yourself up to new ideas, ways, and methods of operating and even thinking outside of your normal realm. Spiritually speaking, it’s exposing yourself, stripping yourself and lying bare before Me, so I can re-dress your mind, filling it with creative, innovative, fresh new input.
It means forsaking the old and being hungry for the new, no matter how different it is, or how much it even grates against your own natural likes, inclinations, attitudes, or ways of doing things. Needless to say, this takes great humility, great desperation, and great openness of mind and spirit, all of which are fundamental to receiving fresh, new input from Me.
Humility, great desperation, and great openness of mind and spirit. These are qualities the Lord said are essential—no, rather, “fundamental”—to receiving fresh innovative input from Him.
Here’s an excerpt of an article that lists some other basic qualities or characteristics which are common to innovative people.
Characteristics of an Innovator
If you’re interested in learning to be more innovative, here is a list of characteristics that good innovators typically share:
Open-mindedness — Innovation means exploring uncharted waters and being receptive to new ideas and methods, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable. Sometimes you have to take a chance to achieve a breakthrough.
Finding connections — Impressive innovation means being on the cutting edge and discovering connections that you weren’t aware of previously—connections between the problem and an idea, solution and practical application.
Keeping up — Top innovators keep abreast of developments in their field and elsewhere. They know what’s going on in their field of expertise around the world. (Editor: What’s your field or ministry? Are you informed, aware, and up to date on the best tools and methods available for the job?)
Aligning support — Innovation requires a unified effort and the ability to work well with others. Outstanding innovators know how to sell their ideas to decision makers and have the ability to enlist the support of their colleagues [both within and out of the Family].
Moving ahead sensibly — Skilled innovators can identify the differences between good and bad risks, and exercise foresight about the consequences for individuals and the organization.
Going with the flow — Excellent innovators understand project management but don’t get sidetracked by unforeseen circumstances or a change in plans. They are flexible and reasonable.
Appetite for learning — Good innovators are not afraid to make mistakes on the way to figuring out something new. They view setbacks as learning opportunities. They analyze their successes and failures, seek feedback and move forward.
Jesus on “Innovation”
Jesus: Don’t limit yourself to the way things were done in the past. You can use those methods of the past as a platform to jump off into the new, but don’t be bound by the past. If past ways and means and methods or mindsets had solved the problem, you would not be faced with it now. So seek the new, the different, the original, the creative, the innovative, and don’t discard it just because it hasn’t been done that way before. Your purpose is not to hang on to the past, to patch it up somehow and revive it. You want to go boldly into the future, looking for new methods, new ideas, new ways of operating. Expect the new. Demand the new.
Weaken those assumptions
When you face a problem, your usual assumptions and mental habits usually determine what you will come up with as your solution. You go for the “obvious.” However, this shuts down creativity, limiting you to solutions that are just variations on things you’ve done before. To become more innovative or creative, don’t tend so easily or quickly to your automatic assumptions. Don’t automatically go for the “obvious,” the tried and proven, what you’re comfortable with. Look for new ways to define the problem. Observe. Seek comments. Use “peer review.” If the evidence [or the Lord or your co-workers' advice] shows that your product [or idea] won’t sell or fly, don’t ignore the facts. Refigure the situation and move on.
Jesus continues: Reexamine all your assumptions. Bring them to the light of day, turn them upside down and examine them from every angle. You think something won’t work? Why’s that? What about this or that? Keep asking questions or coming up with ideas, not trying to shoot down those ideas or explain why they can’t possibly work. Remember, I’m the God of the impossible… so don’t be limited by the possible. Give Me a chance to punch through with bold or even wild new ideas for today. Explore every aspect of the problem or difficulty, and expect to receive.
You must stir yourself up to launch out into the realm of new ideas, not just sit quietly or passively, thinking of reasons why those ideas won’t work. It requires effort on your part, as well as openness and receptivity. You must seek ways to make things work, not ways in which you can dismiss, criticize, or write off the ideas of others.
I have great things ahead for you, marvelous new ideas, wonderful innovations and ways of operating! Brew up a brainstorm and you’ll blow away the mists of conformity and tradition, the dry dust of logical or carnal thinking, and uncover treasures galore. They’re there, just waiting for you.
“You cannot innovate without risk. It is simply part of the process. By failing often, you can succeed sooner—embrace that perspective so you can innovate.”—Tom Kelly
Openness, Creativity, Expansion, and Growth
Jesus: I have provided a means for you by which you can prepare your heart, mind, and spirit to receive fresh new ideas, concepts, and solutions.
I give you the key of teleportation. This key will unlock your mind, so that your mind and thought processes will be transported to another spiritual realm outside the confines of your own carnal mind… giving your mind full access to My realm of fresh new ideas and solutions.
This realm is the idea or creative level within My Kingdom. Here is where you’ll find many of the great minds of the times: the creative minds, the geniuses, what you might term the “eccentric but brilliant,” the crazy crusaders, the pioneers, and all those who thrive on constantly stepping beyond and outside the limits of what has been done or what supposedly can’t be done. So I have My Own brainstorming level and sessions here within My realm. For your easy reference, you can call this the “OCEG” level, whose mandate and objective is Openness, Creativity, Expansion, and Growth. This level is the ground level or “soil” upon which growth and change happens within My realm.
Through this teleportation key, this heavenly idea department with all of its helpers and creative flow and exchange of ideas and solutions has now been unlocked to you, My loves!
While being innovative might come more naturally to some then to others, it is possible to nurture yours or someone else’s ability to exercise innovation by training them in these varied skills:
Observation — Innovators see things in new ways.
Curiosity — Curiosity keeps the mind agile. Inquisitive people ask about the purpose of things, the big picture. But they don’t just accumulate facts.
People skills — Empathic people who understand others’ experiences or needs are more likely to solve their problems.
Questioning — Innovators ask many and varied questions.
Pragmatism — Distinguish between the cool and the useful.
Action-orientation — A person can come up with millions of ideas, but unless he or she is able to implement them, they won’t help anyone.
Diplomacy — Innovators must be able to work in teamwork with others.