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Innovation Is a Skill, Not a Gift

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Why do so many people believe that they are not innovative? That they are not one of "the creative people"? It's because they have one foundational (and mistaken) belief about innovation. They don't realize that innovation is a skill.

If you're a video person, I lay it all out in the video below. If reading is more your thing, skip the video and hop straight to the transcript below!

Hey everybody, Bill Stainton here with Turning Creativity into Money™, and today I want to talk about something that kind of bugs me.

It's the people who say, "Oh, I'm, I'm just not creative. I'm, I'm just not one of the 'innovative people,' I guess."

Why do they say that? Why do people go around thinking that they, that they're not innovators, that they're not creative people?

I'll tell you why.

It's because they don't really understand what innovation is.

See, they think that innovation is a gift. It's not. It's a skill. And that's the difference. Gift or skill. Innovation is a skill, it can be learned like any other skill.

Do you remember, there was a time when you did not know how to speak the English language. It's true! Whether you're a native speaker or non-native speaker, there was a time when you did not know how to speak English.

But you learned, right? I mean, nobody is born knowing how to speak English, or Spanish, or German, or Urdu, or any other language. It's a skill that you learn—just like innovation. And now—especially if you're a native speaker—you don't even think about it, do you? I mean, people often tell me I speak without thinking. So, it's a skill that can be learned. It's not magic.

And by the way, magic is not even magic. I mean, take a simple magic trick. Okay, so get a coin here, right? Coin. Take it like this—now watch. Just do a little rub like this. Now look—it'll look like magic, right?

It looks like magic, right? It's not magic, it's a trick. It's a sleight of hand. It's called the French drop—you can learn it. Just like you can learn innovation.


If you think that innovation is just a gift that certain people get, then of course you're not going to bother trying to learn it.

Once you realize it's a skill that can be taught and can be learned—you can learn it; your team can learn it—once you realize that, then it's just a matter of, do you want to? Do you see the advantage? Do you see where that can take you in your career,
in your business, in your industry?


Can you see how that can give you a, a competitive advantage over the competition—being the one who's an innovator?

So it makes sense to learn it. So stop thinking yourself that, "I'm just, I'm just not an innovator."

Maybe not now. Just like when you were six months old you might have said—well you wouldn't have said, because you couldn't speak it—but you might have thought, "I, I guess i'm just not a speaker. I guess I'm just not going to learn the language." No, you learn it.

Just like you can learn anything. You can learn that magic trick, too. Again, the French drop—look it up, it's online, you can learn it.

I'm Bill Stainton. I'll be here next time when I help you Turn Your Creativity into Money™.
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About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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