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3 Steps to Impossible Dreams and Breakout Innovation

innovation, neuroscience, business strategy, breakout business, human mind, human brainI spent a day last week at the Arizona Biotech Conference, sharing and learning about the amazing industry that’s forming in Arizona.  Who know that the #1 biotech IPO for 2013 was an Arizona firm?  I surely didn’t.

I had the chance to see an approved synthetic heart (yep,we can all forget the Russian roulette of  that transplant list now.)  I say a new pacemaker/ defibrillator that is smaller than a stint as well as new monitoring devices that can be injected in a vein. Talk about micro!

I was surrounded by breakout innovation. What a powerful experience and opportunity to model highly successful innovation.

As I listened to one of the speakers, the head of the Arizona division of MedTronics, discuss innovation -  he said something that really struck home.

“If you’re going to revolutionize, you have to start with a goal that seems impossible.”

Wow.  How powerful is that. And how true.

Impossible Goals Drive Breakout Innovation

How many of us brainstorm with the focus of identifying impossible goals?  Say what?

Thing is, we humans aren’t wired to think in the direction of impossible. Our unconscious minds are programmed to focus on what we know, what we expect and what we believe to be true.  Whenever we get an idea that’s outside the realm of our “possibility,” our unconscious mind directs us back to our comfort zone of status quo knowns and possibilities.

No wonder breakout innovation is so darned difficult to create. Unless we step beyond our unconscious programming, bypassing the circuits that keep us stuck in the realm of the possible and into the realm of the impossible, we can’t and won’t innovate.

We can step beyond our programs that direct us to say, “We can’t do that, it’s impossible,” and into seeing our impossible dreams as breakout innovation that can and will catapult us to market success. Here are three steps to do just that.

1) Revolution vs Evolution.  The first thing I suggest to clients is to drive a revolution-based brainstorming meeting.  No more beginning with where we are today and evolving fro there.  Instead, put yourself in your market 5 or 10 years from now and ask the question, “What will the challenges be then? How can we begin to solve those challenges today?”  Instead of focusing on the possible, focus on the impossible, random corner cases that can and will become mainstream in some distant future. Paint a picture of that world, that market.  That’s where you find opportunities for innovation – in the future.

2) Leave Your Limits At the Door. While you’re brainstorming your revolution, leave all limiting statements at the door.  No one is allowed to say words like can’t, won’t, shouldn’t, isn’t.  Every idea is allowed and expanded upon. The wilder the ideas the better. We’re not committing to these ideas, we’re simply expanding our minds to see beyond our very limited perspectives and into new horizons of opportunity.  Instead of saying, “That won’t work,  we can’t do that,” focus on how it could be possible, what it would take to make that impossible thing become a reality.

3) Think Future and Think Big.  We all think we do this. In reality, we rarely push past the envelope of possibility.  We’re wired that way.  So learn to go beyond what is possible today and step into what could be possible in the future.  Push the envelope on possibility, throw crazy, wild, unbelievable ideas on the wall. Then go farther. Think big!   Start at a distant point in the future, visualize the impossible and then work your way back to now with a plan on how to get to that distant and revolutionary future.  Think about this… in the year 2000, who would have believed that an iPad (or other follow-on devices) would become the dominant platform of choice for everyone from teenagers to surgeons? Heck, the naysayers were everywhere the week Apple launched its iPad.  Who’s laughing about that innovation now?

The Bottom Line

We’re wired to hold ourselves in the comfortable state of status quo knowns.  We do just that even as we believe we’re breajking out. Think about the last brainstorming meeting you had. How many times did you hear statements like, “We can’t do that, We’ve never pull that off, that’s not possible from where we are today.”

When we step beyond that programming and consciously decide to think in a revolutionary way -  innovation happens.

So dream those impossible dreams, set those impossible goals. And then go make them come true.

The post 3 Steps to Impossible Dreams and Breakout Innovation appeared first on Rebel Brown.

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Rebel Brown guides organizations and individuals to harness the power of their minds to step into their ultimate potential. A masterful agent of change, for over 25 years Rebel Brown has inspired, coached and empowered individuals and businesses to unstoppable performance and results. As a recognized market strategist and turnaround expert, Rebel guided over 200 global organizations to step beyond their status quo perspectives to create profitable market advantage. She also worked with US and European venture firms to successfully fund and launch their portfolios. She also ran a consulting practice in Paris for three years, working with European clients. Fascinated by the power of our human minds to limit ourselves and our business results, she began her study of neural science. Her core question was simple. What could we do if we had no limits? Today, she brings the power of neuroscience to business (NeuroBusiness),fueling limitless thinking that drives powerful bottom line growth for her executive and corporate clients. Rebel’s work has been featured in media including First Business TV, Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Insider and Business Week. She is a Vistage International speaker and workshop leader as well as NSA speaker. She’s also been named one of the Top 100 Women in Computing. Rebel is also the founder and director of the Unstoppable U Foundation, a non-profit program committed to guiding kids to know that they are born to be Unstoppable!