In my previous blog I referred to our extensive research into successes and failures of corporate innovation. Our research led to the launch of the DARE movement. You could say it is based on popular demand: We tap into an unmet need of corporate innovators looking for a new growth mantra or mindset for their organizations and business partners. DARE is an acronym which stands for Defiance, Adventure, Realism and Endurance.

 


DARE starts with having the courage to do something. To defy and challenge. To provoke and be bold in breaking down the governing myths and beliefs in organizations and industries. It is a rebellious mindset that challenges the status quo; one that realizes that transformation can only occur when we don’t simply think outside of the box but discard the box altogether. Observation is a powerful tool for defiance. Observe, yet do not follow, the leaders in your industry and beyond. Try the opposite.

box in trash bin

Defiance is followed by disruptive creativity and ‘failing forward’ – a popular startup term for ‘discovery’. It is about having an adventurous mindset. Being curious. Constantly looking for the ‘new new’ and being in a state of ‘perpetual beta.’ The DARE mindset embraces adventure, like Peter Pan in Neverland.

In 1942, the Austrian Joseph Schumpeter introduced the concept of ‘creative destruction’; the notion that innovation would disrupt the current economic order. He developed the theory of ‘Neue Kombinationen’ – connecting seemingly unrelated concepts to create something entirely new. Connecting the apparently random dots is a powerful human brain characteristic of creativity. Experimental learning is the path of the adventurer. Having an adventurous mindset also implies being comfortable with the unknown; venturing out on a path from A to B, where B is not yet known. Where B is an emerging destination, which reveals itself when we allow ourselves to embark on an adventure to uncover the hidden treasures and the diamonds in the rough.

Innovative growth becomes sustainable when the outcome of adventure is married to a sense of realism; when fiction and adventure become fact. No business can exist on the merits of fantasy alone. Peter Pan needs to cross swords with the Grey Wizard. Or, in the present day, the data scientist: the one who wields the weapon of truth, who demystifies and objectifies. Realism also tells you that you have to make money with your new ideas – a viable business case or model – and shows you the risks and pitfalls along the path of growth.

In many organizations, the largest impediment to realizing growth from innovation stems from a lack of endurance. Endurance refers to disciplined execution. It refers to grinding down to the very end; to making things happen. Along the way, the treacherous ‘valley of tears’ and ‘troughs of disillusionment’ have to be navigated. Execution is often deemed inferior to strategy. Do not forget that innovation equals execution and execution equals innovation. As is often said, strategy without execution is hallucination. The word success is derived from the Latin word ‘succedere’ which means ‘to follow through.’ Endurance is about sticking to your commitments, even when the pay-off is not immediately apparent. In the end, achieving innovative growth is down and dirty – and above all hard – work.

DARE is the mindset of successful change agents. It is the mindset needed to make and execute daring choices in the high-stakes game companies play – or are forced to play – nowadays. DARE is also about the right balance. I do not intend to mean that the DARE mindset applies to one individual alone. It applies to teams and whole organizations. Each individual player in a team represents a combination of DARE qualities. The measure of success lies in unifying these qualities and understanding their relative importance.


In my next blogs I will elaborate further on the four key elements of the DARE mindset and its origin. Your feedback Is greatly appreciated. Drop me a line at eric@revelx.nl. Join the DARE movement!

Introducing DARE: The Mindset for Successful Innovators in The Digital Age

Learn how successful innovators and business leaders realize growth with DARE – now Amazon’s #1 best-selling title!