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Jolt #1 - Embrace Inovation as a Verb, not a Noun

Jolt #1 - Embrace Inovation as a Verb, not a Noun

This Jolt is an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Debra R. Miller and William C. Miller of Values Centered Innovation

"Everything is a prototype... that can always be improved!"

-- Charlie Hill, Chief Technology Officer of IBM Design

Defining innovation as a noun makes it static as if it were only “this” or “that.” It creates a shallow understanding in which only a select few get to innovate, and even fewer get credit for innovating.

Embracing innovation as a VERB makes it dynamic, continually in process, interconnected and fluid— never static. 

Being innovative, thinking innovatively, and acting innovatively all describe the ways in which every person can play in this ever-evolving, dynamic flow of innovating.

While innovation as a noun can be a signpost to lead your way, innovation as a verb provides the energy, enthusiasm, and authentic action to get you there.

In those awe-inspiring moments when you let go of the burden of defining and defending a fixed definition of innovation, you expand to a more alive, deeper, and wiser place. From that place, everyone can participate in the process, whether or not they participate in the end product.

To break through the busy-ness of daily work with vibrant, innovative solutions, the first step is a change of mindset.


 Now it's your turn! Try on this Mindset Jolt in your own life and work using the Conscious Innovator® process:

  • Become aware - What is 1 new awareness you have about yourself, others, and your situation?
  • Identify your capability - What is 1 personal value and 1 strength you can draw from and put into practice?
  • Take versatile action - What is 1 action you can take to apply your awareness and capability in ways you have not thought of before?

Try our 1-hour free mini-courses to supercharge your innovation capabilities!

Browse innovation training from Values Centered Innovation

About the Authors

Debra Miller and William Miller have dedicated their careers to enabling “conscious innovation”. Debra draws from her experience as an IT executive and business coach, while William completed his tenure as Head of Innovation Management at the Stanford Research Institute. Together, they balance inner transformation with mastering new competencies for bringing out the innovative best with “every person, every job, every day.”

Debra Miller and William Miller

Last updated: 04 Jul 2022

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