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Innovators: Made or Born?

In answer to my earlier post regarding the Four Catalysts of the Habit of Innovation, Elaine Mikesell offered some pertinent questions. She believes that innovative tendencies are “a function of genetics and home and school environments in early child development.” She goes on to point out that “like any other aptitude such as tennis or quarterbacking, it becomes increasingly difficult to develop it to a distinguishable level in adulthood.”

In answer to my earlier post regarding the Four Catalysts of the Habit of Innovation, Elaine Mikesell offered some pertinent questions. She believes that innovative tendencies are “a function of genetics and home and school environments in early child development.” She goes on to point out that “like any other aptitude such as tennis or quarterbacking, it becomes increasingly difficult to develop it to a distinguishable level in adulthood.”

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I’ll agree that if an individual is closed off from an innovative mindset early on it is difficult for them later on to become a star innovator although there are always exceptions to the rule. But we don’t need 100% of people to be star innovators.

The four catalysts (Awareness, Curiosity, Focus, and Initiative) are natural tendencies in all humans. The key is to not snuff them out in early childhood. If they have been dulled, as is often the case, it is then necessary to reawaken these natural tendencies. I think this is easier to do for the majority of people than it would be say to teach everyone to throw a football like Bret Favre.

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As to Elaine’s question about measurement and assessment a good start is the Personal Brilliance Quotient. Try it out.

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