“Please look again, that can’t be right”, I say to my Physiologist, during a routine medical recently. “I’ve checked 3 times Mrs Potter, you ARE at least 5ft 5 inches tall” Recognising that a ruler is not tricky to calibrate, I accept the result, shaking my head as all my adult life I’ve been below 5ft 4 inches. “Have you under-gone a lifestyle change?” she asks. I hear myself say, “I guess so” as I start to wonder at the relationship between the body and mind. “I’ve left the stresses and strains of corporate life middle management and set myself up as a full time Innovation Engineering Teacher”.
This is how a routine medical check-up caused me to reflect upon my personal growth and my motivation to do what I do.
Some people live a life of quiet desperation, others sadly a whole life of quiet desperation. I do what I do to show people it needn't be that way. I believe that everyone has an innate creativity and the ability to use it to make a positive change. For many, it’s simply been lying dormant since childhood and is there to be rediscovered. There is such joy in an idea, when the neurones fire and the connections are made, there is positive energy and possibilities. I do what I do to see that joy, that realisation that with a little savvy and a system, anyone willing can come up with an idea that makes a difference.
Moreover I do what I do to help people overcome the fear of doing something to move that idea forward. The IE System provides the courage to act. I love the power of the framework, the power to create courage by pointing the way. Firstly you follow the system, you practice the tools and then the system is yours - you own it. There’s a mind-set shift, when you feel in control you know what to do. It is self belief, it is know-how.
I do this because innovation is too important to be left to a few self-appointed experts. Everyone has the right to make a difference, to listen to the voice inside their head and make their contribution.
Innovation Engineering is a system anyone willing can learn to rediscover their creative ability and unleash the courage to act. My own journey started about 15 years ago when I met Doug Hall, founder of the IE Institute. Whilst employed in the corporate world I learned how to create, communicate and commercialise meaningfully unique ideas. I can see now that I was enabled to do something I love, yet simultaneously as my eyes were opened to the exciting possibilities for my company, I felt constrained. I could see the real win when adopting a total system for Innovation company-wide is in the way people work together to drive system improvements. It’s not “just” about doing some breakthrough NPD. It’s the difference between “doing some innovation” and being an innovative company.
Unshackled from corporate life, I’ve embraced how it feels to teach as well as do. I’ve encouraged clients to take the first steps, shown clients how to use tools to work smarter and been inspired by their achievements. I’ve handed out certificates and seen their innovation efforts independently rewarded. I have learned how it feels to be both enabled and empowered and experienced the even deeper reward of helping to bring that about in others. In short, I have grown! And in more ways than one. I am 1 inch taller. Quantified evidence of the impact of following your dreams.
Grow with me! Throw off the shackles and Ignite Innovation in yourself and make a difference!