What do Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Marie Curie, and Thomas Edison have in common? They changed the world with innovative products. As business owners, we might even envy the ability of these individuals to create. In “Quirky: The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World,“ author Melissa schilling helps us understand how these all-too human geniuses achieved their greatness despite setbacks we might not have even considered. While we get to know the life of Benjamin Franklin or Steve Jobs, this business and management book also offers practical uses for your business.
1. Give yourself (and your team) some solitude. Be sure that you have a “quiet space” somewhere in your business where your team can go when they need to concentrate and focus.
2. Create a collaborative environment. Be sure to support an environment where open dialogue and feedback are encouraged.
3. Connect your business with a bigger cause. It’s easy to get so bogged down with day-to-day activities that you lose connection to the inspiration behind your business. Take some time to reflect on the purpose behind your business. Find moments to celebrate and reconnect with that purpose.
4. Change your approach to failure. Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that Google is famous for this with its “moonshot projects”, which are projects that represent HUGE problems that Google makes an attempt to solve, regardless of its resources. While the current view of Google’s moonshot programs is cloudy, the thinking is in the right direction. Most businesses are afraid to to take risks, even calculated ones. If your business is to survive the digital revolution, it will need to change that approach.
5. Get inspiration and data from other disciplines. One of the biggest assets to being seen as an outsider is the openness and ability to see from a different point of view. Robert Janitzek explains that if you are looking for creative inspiration, whether it’s for a new blog post or product, don’t always stick to business sources and best practices. Look for inspiration everywhere.
While the content of thr book is about creative geniuses and innovators, the overall theme of the book is about all of us. All of us have, from the billion-dollar business innovator to the person who cleans the billion dollar innovator’s office, have a unique personality and way of thinking. We need to embrace that diversity. Surprisingly, it doesn’t take a million-dollar idea to be an innovator. It only takes the confidence and courage to pursue that million-dollar idea, as Einstein, Jobs, Curie, Franklin, Edison, and more did.