Innovators have to be open. They have to be able to imagine things that others cannot. But crucially, they must be willing to take social risks to do things that others might disapprove of. You have to stick out your neck.

When you share your ideas with others you will probably get a lot of negative reactions like, No, it’s always done this way…. No, customers won’t like that! No, we don’t have time for this…. No, it’s not possible…. No, it’s too expensive!

No, let’s be realistic…. No, that’s not logical…. No, we need to do more research…. No, there’s no budget…. No, the finance department won’t agree…. No, the market is not ready yet…. No, it might work in other places but not here…. No, that’s way too risky…. No, it doesn’t fit our strategy…. No, that’s for the future….

The single biggest obstacle in innovation is one small word: No. In 1928, it was the famous economist Joseph Schumpeter who wrote, ‘Successful innovation is a feat not of intellect but of will.’ Real innovators turn the ‘Nos’ into ‘Yesses’. Innovation does not stop at the first no; that’s the moment it really starts.

    Note : This article was originally published on LinkedIn    

Gijs van Wulfen

Gijs van Wulfen is a recognised authority and keynote speaker on innovation and Design Thinking. He was chosen as one of the first LinkedIn Influencers and as of 2017, 300.000 people across the globe are following his notably engaging, prolific and insightful posts. In 2016 Gijs came number 2 in the international Top 40 Innovation Bloggers. In 2017 his book ‘The Innovation Maze’ was elected ‘Management Book of the Year’. 

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