Hallway Studio

November 10, 2014

Note: This is the second in a series of posts about what is needed on an innovative team. The first was about empathy

In our office there is always a lot of discussion in person and over email about new technologies and trends. The hot topic at the moment is mobile payments. It’s this passion and interest in different verticals, behaviors, trends and technologies that that fuels innovation in a couple of important ways.

Broad Inquisitiveness 

A lot of innovation comes from taking a concept from one space and moving it to another space. The Wright brothers experience in building bicycles lead them to take a different approach then their competitors and contributed to them creating the world’s first successful airplane. My experience working with different types of companies and non-profits gives me a wide array of inspiration to draw from.

Sometimes I encounter folks looking for partners that only want to work with experts in their industry. The good news is that you will get a partner that knows your industry but you might get the same thinking and ideas as everyone else. If you want an innovative team, look for people who bring a diversity of experience and a passion for continuos learning.

Deep inquisitiveness

My favorite thing about working for a museum was getting to dive into a new subject every couple of months. I learned about history, international politics, photography, technology and more. Then I’d take what I learned about found a way to make it engaging for a more general audience.

What ever the topic is, innovative teams dive in and quickly understand the business, customers and competitors. But they manage to keep an outside perspective and don’t get boxed in.

When your building your team look for :

  • Diversity of experience
  • People who are always reading and sharing new ideas from different areas
  • People who can dive into a new area and bring fresh perspective
  • A resistance to conventional or internally-focused ideas

Image: Atlantic City, New Jersey

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