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Are you a red-lighter or a green-lighter?

In life there are people green-lighters and red-lighters. Go with the green-lighters!

“Green lighters” are the ones you want to hang around. They will encourage you and inspire. They will show you the green light to succeed. They will open the doors of possibility for you. If you will struggle to come up with a solution, they will guide you to search for advice from more experienced or innovate the solution.

“Red-lighters” will focus on problems and why you cann’t do it. They will explain you why it is difficult to do what you are planning to and why it is safer to stay in your comfort zone and do nothing different. They may even spend time to search for scientific proof that the idea you have may or will not work.

How many times you had a great idea, but did not implement it because somebody close to you said “it’s not worth doing” or doubted your success? And how much empowering does it feel when somebody helps you to think through the solutions and implementation, despite the challenges in the way? Trust me – you want to hang around with the green-lighters!

You need to get out of the comfort zone to succeed and make a difference. There is never a lack of finance or opportunities to implement your ideas, only the lack of creativity. Learn from experienced and people who have succeeded. If you are the smartest person in your team or business, you will go broke. So – equip yourself with smart people in the team, with green-lighters and that will hugely increase your opportunities for success.

And – how about yourself? Be mindful of – are you a green-lighter or a red-lighter for people around you? Do people feel inspired in your interaction with them or depowered? Trust me, from my experience, it is much more rewarding to be the green-lighter!

Whenever I create an opportunity to inspire someone, I feel much more energized and inspired myself. To inspire and empower people is my passion. When you follow your passion, you generate empowering energy. Go with the green-lighters!

Love Problems And Innovate Solutions

Recently I attended an entrepreneur’s mindset event that refreshed my thinking of stepping out of comfort zone and adding value by innovating solutions.

It was organized and facilitated by The Wealth Dragons in London. My key take away thought for inspiration of this event among many others is:

“Love problems and innovate solutions to add value”

Great entrepreneurs are problem solvers. The bigger the problem you can solve, the bigger the reward, recognition and appreciation you will receive. People with entrepreneur’s mindset love problems. Problems give them opportunity to challenge and stretch themselves to find solutions. And if you do not know – how to solve the problem, go and find the know-how to solve the problem. Learn it, create it, outsource it. Just do it.

Constantly look for solving problems, adding value and changing lives for better. And you will instantly succeed. A difference between success and failure often is the speed of implementation. People with entrepreneur’s mindset do whatever it takes to take an action towards solution. They are not stopped or scared to just go and do it and possibly make some mistakes on the way to progress. We are going to make mistakes and learn from them to succeed.

Thomas Edison might have had over 10,000 attempts to get to the light bulb success. What would happen if he had given up at 9,999? Success is when preparation and persistence meets opportunity.

Action is the only way to success. Can you learn how to swim just by reading a book? And even if you buy a book and put it on the shelf, it’s not self development, it’s a shelf development. Sometimes you need to jump out of the plain to make an action. Because when you jump, you can not get back to the plain. You need to fly.

Everybody has 24 hours a day, the difference is how we use these 24 hours. My advice is: use them wisely – look out for problems, innovate solutions, take an action and add value to people’s lives.

Top 5 Things to Enhance Innovation Mindset

Innovation is about challenging and improving our thinking. “What most distinguishes highly successful innovators from those who struggle, is their skill at systematically revising their own mental models—at iterating what’s happening inside their heads.” D.Stauffer,

When the word “innovation” is mentioned, most people may think of extraordinary inventions created by outstanding geniuses. However, the majority of business and society innovations today are not created by exceptional geniuses. They are created by people who are focusing on generating ideas in collaboration with customers, partners and employees. The companies that generate innovations thrive on exchange of ideas and regular interactions with customers, employees and other stakeholders. They innovate not necessarily to revolutionize their industry, but to meet specific business goals and enhance a competitive edge.

Possibly, the most important is that innovative companies do not outsource innovation function to a department or agency. For them innovation is a way of life. It is what they do. Innovation is integrated in their business culture and mindset.

As the term “Innovation Mindset” would suggest, innovation is a state of mind, more than intrinsic talent or element of being genius. There are lot of tips and strategies on how to enhance the innovation mindset. My favourite are the following five:

1. Develop constant curiosity

Strive to understand what makes people tick. How their thinking habits work. Innovation is a process, not a destination. You want to create something meaningful that would add value or make an impact, not just innovating for sake of innovation.

Recently a friend from Colombia visited me in London. She is developing her business in selling a special occasion dresses and accessories. I was amazed to see how she was discovering ideas for her emerging business while sightseeing in the central London, exploring the musical styles exhibition or reading the adverts in the underground train. Constant curiosity helps her to discover new and effective ways of communicating to her customers.

2. Challenge your thinking for opportunities and possibilities

Notice and throw away any limiting believes. Choose the thinking pattern of “yes, and…” instead of “yes, but…”. Think bigger every time.

Look for ideas from anywhere. Constantly. Seek for “how could it work” rather than “why it will not work”. Approach the innovation with the belief that anything is possible and you just need to figure out the way how it is possible. Learn from mistakes, find another way and carry on. Steve Jobs in relation has said: “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations”.

3. Be bold and trust your guts

Go to market or society and implement your innovation even if you are not 100% ready. It is quite common to come up with new ideas and become obsessed with them or focus on making the outcomes perfect. Don’t spend huge amounts of time to perfectionize – be bold, get it out there and seek for feedback to improve. Learn to fail and learn from the feedback and your mistakes. As well as you learn from your achievements.

To ignite innovation, fuel the inspiration from within. Trust your guts and what intuition tells you. Push your thinking boundaries. Create explosive reactions. “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”, Albert Einstein.

4. Welcome diversity

Learn from people who are different, who have come from different cultures, environments, development, thinking habits. Learn from the way how they think and how they look for solutions. Donald Fan in his article “Proof That Diversity Drives Innovation mentions: “Research confirms that diversity is a valuable resource for innovation. Prof. Ron Burt of the University of Chicago conducted an empirical study indicating that people with more diverse sources of information generate consistently better ideas”. I am noticing that in my diverse global team every week – how different and effective solutions we can generate welcoming opinions and ideas of people from different countries.

5. Take action to add value

Is it innovating for profitable growth, customer engagement, business sustainability and agility, productivity, greater service or any other purpose – take an action to implement it, communicate your added value and strive to hear how it works. Execution is part of innovation.

Adding value, making life easier or more enjoyable is part of innovation. I recently participated in the leadership team meeting where our customer Heijmans shared how their company innovates with their customers. It was example about designing and constructing smart highways. “Smart Highway is the result of an intensive collaboration between builder and developer Heijmans and designer Daan Roosegaarde. The themes sustainability, safety and perception are key to the concept and are manifested in the newest technologies in energy and light”www.smarthighways.org .  The architect had an inspirational idea to make smart highways. He kept communicating and sharing this inspiration until one city mayor in Netherlands gave this idea a try in his governed city. This teaches me – persistence guides to success.

This leads to a summary conclusion – persistence does guide to a success. If you have an idea of innovation that will add value, take an action and keep you persistence alert. It shall lead to success sooner or later.