What One Thing Do Innovators Have?

By Paul Starkey
Published on: August 3, 2018

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The baseline character of the entrepreneur is often described as true grit; the ability to be persistent and to persevere. We meet very few owner/operators who don’t and who haven’t. But the one remarkable trait or habit of the innovative owner/operator is curiosity.

You see, to make meaningful change you have to step out beyond where you are. Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.”

Much of our beliefs, habits and inclinations are based on what we know, but true breakthroughs come from exercising curiosity. Curiosity is the most important aspect of business. Constant pursuit of current best practices is a process, not a destination. Even great practices change over time.

Curiosity is about what we don’t know, not what we hold on to as unbendable truths. Curiosity leads to found money, and believe us, there is plenty to be found. It also should focus on results, not activity. Much of what we cannot achieve is blocked by two factors not on your profit & loss statement: I am too busy or I am too smart to listen, or worse, learn.

In CI, “if it ain’t broke why fix it”; is the total lack of curiosity. When you become curious about how things are done, how they could improve, how others do the same things and how you can be a better leader for your team; you can change rapidly and effectively.

When you think of ways you can be a better customer for your suppliers, a better leader of your people, a better custodian of the business, a better partner for your client; you can begin to find ways to change the trajectory of your business.

Become curious … it will define your tomorrow.

Keep it Vital!

Paul Starkey

Paul Starkey

Paul Starkey is a 23 year CI industry veteran who led control manufacturer ELAN from infancy to a 150 person company. He is a visionary, keen on innovation, pioneer of on-line training, and numerous product innovations. He is co-founder of Vital Management and Executive Director of BRAVAS Group.

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