<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Search
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

Forging Innovation at Your Business: Expertise and Creativity

Jan. 16, 2014 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Brainstorming And Teamwork Concept


Everyone wants innovators in their business, but finding employees who are willing to innovate is a very challenging task. As we discussed my last blog post, the most innovative workers might have a non-traditional background for the position you're staffing.

If you are seeking an innovator, what qualities do you look for?

Tony Wagner attempts to uncover the most important innovative attributes in Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. Tony previously authored The Global Achievement Gap, a book about schools not teaching kids what they need to know to thrive in a global, knowledge-based economy.

In Creating Innovators, Wagner identifies three skills which are critical for innovation: Expertise, Creativity & Passion. 

Expertise

Expertise is often taken for granted. All of your employees know their functional areas backwards and forwards. Or do they? How do you know? Especially for areas outside of your expertise, how do you assess that candidates for new positions have sufficient expertise not only to do their job but to innovate the position? I suggest using a combination of peer interviews by existing employees that have sufficient expertise, and industry assessments to uncover a candidate's expertise.

Creativity

Creativity is the toughest of the three to measure. Wagner emphasizes that multi-disciplinary expertise - or exposure - is critical here. Having a software designer who is also an artist would help to design functional, yet highly aesthetic programs. Assessing a candidates background, and interests in areas outside of their functional responsibility will uncover whether a potential hire has the broad perspective to look at challenges creatively.

Passion

Regarding passion, you'll know it when you see it. Employees working on the weekend without being asked - or pro-actively solving challenging problems are signs of passion. 

But, hiring passionate employees is a different matter. Everyone puts on their most passionate face for a job interview. How do you know it will carry through to the job?

A reference check can really come in handy when you're investigating passion. Most references will say the candidate did a good job, and they liked them. As you ask questions on their working style, commitment to job and scenarios where they went "above and beyond" you will start to develop an assessment of their passion.  

Want additional insight? Read 7 Steps for an Effective Hiring Process now to learn more

DOWNLOAD

Hired an innovative employee? Tell us how you nabbed them - and how you foster their creativity - in the comments section!
You are your own brand. The wider your knowledge base, the more attractive you are to potential employers/business partners.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

11 Top Business Apps Every Business Owner Should Have
Feb. 25, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
As an entrepreneur, you handle an onslaught of tasks day in and day out. You are often juggling a multitude of jobs. Competing priorities make being organized and focused on the end goal even more...
Tips on Using Artificial Intelligence to Boost Productivity and Profitability
Feb. 16, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
For years now, large-scale businesses have been employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help drive productivity and high performance. This same technological advantage is available to small...
5 Tips to Help Remote Workers Feel Like Part of Your Team
Feb. 11, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, a leading trend among businesses was employing remote workers in a wide range of job responsibilities. The trend has, by now, attained something of a...
Employee Onboarding Tips that Help Boost Retention
Feb. 9, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The effective onboarding of new employees is clearly a benefit to businesses, but some companies persist in “winging it” whenever a new hire joins the team. As we have noted before, businesses that...
3 Tips on Vetting Your Most Promising Job Candidates
Feb. 4, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
It would be nice to think that every applicant to a job opening at your business is always telling the truth in their resumes, during their interviews, and throughout the hiring process....
8 Ways to Keep Your Employees Accountable in a Virtual Environment
Jan. 29, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Remote work is the new normal. In fact, remote work was gaining ground even before the pandemic hit, and with the start of 2021, many IT companies have permanently taken this route. However, there...
How to Measure the Success of Your Team
Jan. 26, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Having an engaged and high-performing team should be a top priority for every small business. A talented individual is always a big asset, but when you put several such individuals, there’s no limit...
Attract New Talent to Your Team in 2021
Jan. 19, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Like all other facets of society, the business world has undergone seismic changes in the past year. However, one operational element—the recruitment and hiring of quality talent—remains unchanged....
Closing Techniques that Help Build Sales
Jan. 12, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Salespeople all agree about the importance of “ABC” (Always Be Closing), but there’s considerable diversity of opinion on how to go about it. The best salespeople understand that working towards a...
Improving Your Accounts Receivables Process
Jan. 8, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Most businesses offer a solution to problems or otherwise fulfill a need experienced by their target audience. They can only go on doing this if—in exchange for delivering a valued good or...