Whether you believe in new year's resolutions or not, the beginning of the year is a great opportunity to reset and execute at a new level. According to YouGov's poll published December 13, the most common aspirations for the coming year include eating healthier (59%), getting more exercise (54%), and saving more money (51%).
While these are important in self-care and self-improvement choices, what about real changes that will help your company innovate and grow?
This year, look beyond the traditional resolution and think about leveraging powerful mindsets to become a more innovative and visionary leader.
Visionaries connect the dots
Visionary leaders have a vision for how the world is changing. They can articulate what they see 10, even 20 years into the future of their business. But as an entrepreneur or business leader, how can you get past the demands of today's quarterly statements and annual reports, and look toward the future?
Take on innovation mindsets to arm yourself with the courage and commitment to drive teams and your company beyond 2019.
A solid innovator attitude begins with keeping an open mind to observing and learning things. And then, connecting the dots between the ideas.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink, exemplifies this mindset by always observing, learning, and creating connections between ideas. From superfast trains to colonizing Mars, Musk's ideas come together from connecting multidisciplinary areas in new, novel ways.
Neuralink is a merge of biological intelligence and machine intelligence, developing new technology that connects computers to our brains.
Innovators like Musk connect the dots differently and see opportunities that others do not. One way to apply this to your work is to expand the industry in which you are knowledgeable.
Spend 2019 going deep into a new field of interest. Something that is likely unfamiliar to others in your industry. This will give you the ability to make new connections and combinations that others may miss.
Innovators are persuadable
While it's important to push your ideas and vision forward, it is critical that you are open to new ideas and feedback.
Leading innovation requires an agile leader that encompasses humility. It is letting of an ego that can get in the way of open-mindedness towards the ideas of others.
Al Pittampalli's book, Persuadable, argues that successful leaders realize that a genuine willingness to change their own mind is the ultimate competitive advantage.
One way to practice being persuadable is to engage with the people that disagree with you. When disagreement occurs, rather than defending your approach, look for merits to the other viewpoint and see if your view can be tweaked and improved. It doesn't have to be one way is right, and the other is wrong.
When I led educational technology within the California Department of Education, I found a product manager that was my go-to naysayer. He would poke holes in any ideas and while some found it frustrating, I found it a great opportunity to shift my perspective. I would listen to his concerns and it would get me to think about how his points may be valid.
I didn't always shift my thinking, but I always listened to and appreciated a new point of view to challenge how an idea can be improved.
When the calendar resets in January, it's a great opportunity to reflect on new mindsets to take on for the new year. Apply new ways of thinking to spend 2019 working to become more visionary and innovative.
This content and exercise can be found in the LinkedIn Learning Product Innovation course, where Karen Holst walks through the innovation process, sharing strategies and tools to help facilitate the creation of valuable new innovation.