Let’s start with one of the key planks of innovation; curiosity. When we look to build a culture of innovation within business we are turning our attention outward, seeking to find the questions that matter and to deliver real solutions. That means that the ‘what if’ questions, so much a feature of childhood, come back in force. We need to be open to asking the questions and open to experimenting if we are to deliver real solutions.
As a consequence, failure has to be something which we are prepared to encounter and accept, turning it into a learning force rather than a cause for censure. Here again, we are back to those lessons which we learnt in our childhood; those all-important lessons which encouraged us to try this or have a go at that. In the process we may have discovered new skills or new aptitudes or even simply learnt why it’s best not to mix those two chemicals together; but the main lesson which we can now carry into the world of work was that it was better to have a go than not try at all.
Then there is the lesson of collaboration and teamwork, working with others on tasks and challenges in order to deliver a unified result. Whether traipsing round the school field to identify different types of leaves or undertaking research so that we could give a talk on a particular subject, those early lessons of working together are ones which we should never forget.