Category: Innovation

Lewis Hamilton, Human Beings & Innovation (they are all connected)

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Time to read: 3 mins

Working on Windows 10, I am currently using (and not by choice) Microsoft Edge as my browser. It has a feature whereby every time you open up a new tab, it shows you a news feed. I’m not a formula one racing fan but the title of an article appeared on my news feed that did capture my attention. The article was titled “Lewis Hamilton is ‘very serious’ about a music career”

 

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is a three time formula one championship winner and currently racing for the Mercedes Team, for those of you who have no idea 🙂  By all accounts he is successful in his career and life in general. In the article Lewis revealed his interest in pursuing a career in music.

 

“It’s got to the point now where it’s very serious. If I am not training; getting ready for a race, I’m here [working on my music]”

 

After reading the article I was a little perplexed, but then I started to think… Why would he want to pursue a music career when he is already successful and has a well established career in Formula One?

Most of us all have jobs but like Hamilton not all of us are able to create, share and express ourselves freely and in a way that we are comfortable with.

 

Being Human

As humans all of us have a need to express ourselves, to create something and share it with the world. It’s within all of us but the way we go about it comes out in many different forms. It may come in a form of a simple act like the way we dress, how we do our makeup or the tattoos we have. Sometimes in more obvious and deliberate displays.

 

When I was growing up my grandmother would work in the garden, come spring time people would walk past and stop to admire the snapdragon flowers in our front yard. My mother makes wedding dresses and my father casually plays the keyboard.

 

The point I am trying to make is these ‘works of expression’ that we all do are important even if it is a small daily act or (in Hamilton’s case) something as a dramatic as a potential career change. As he describes why he makes music:

“In here, I can be me, I can be vulnerable, I can show a side of me that people don’t get to see”

There is some truth in that with all avenues of creativity that we choose to pursue for ourselves. So why is it that some of us are more comfortable in pursuing avenues and outlets of creativity while others just shy away?

 

Inhibitors of Creativity

For those of us who have had to really put ourselves out there (sometimes not by choice), initially some of the biggest challenges are those that come from within ourselves.

 

It’s the concern or worry of what others will think of our work, which cause us to second guess ourselves. The fear of rejection, which freezes us from taking action. It’s conforming to what is expected of us, which changes our approach and ultimately what we deliver. But once we are able to get over such hurdles and work outside of what we considered to be safe; the rewards don’t come instantly but they will come and are worth while in the long term.

 

Anyone who is able to get past these limiting inhibitors will have a unique mindset. A mindset that provides a source of encouragement to those around them, they are influencers, an asset within the workplace and become drivers for change.

As an example business innovation would not happen without such a mindset.

 

Innovation within Business

There are some great resources available on business innovation from books, podcasts and MOOC’s . These will give you the 1,2,3 steps of innovation from; how you ask the right questions, identifying new frames, incubating new processes etc.

 

But because innovation relies on the confidence of your own ideas and your ability to challenge the status quo. How effective you are in the execution of these steps are heavily dependent on your mindset.

 

The good news is that you are already working on your mindset through daily acts or more elaborate extra curricula activities (examples given earlier), it’s just that we don’t normally associate them with being creative or bold and leading with confidence.

 

We just need to make the connection.

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