Giving advice to those looking to break into innovation consulting. What would you tell your former self?
Okay, let me try and summarise this in a few key points.
· Do your research: This should go without saying, but I’m always amazed by how many people don't really get what we do and think we’re basically an advertising agency. Also, don’t just say you’re passionate about innovation – demonstrate it, either through what you do or what you know about.
· Be T-Shaped: Get clear on what it is that you are – or have the potential to be - really, really good at: this is your depth and expertise. But don’t sacrifice breadth of interest – continue to explore a wide variety of things – this ‘T-shaped’ combination is a real winner in innovation.
· Show Curiosity: If there's something we really look for its intellectual curiosity. That desire to learn new things from new places. We want inquisitive minds who are actively seeking out new ideas, perspectives and interests.
· Bring Confidence with humility: We’re entrepreneurial as a business and we want people who are confident enough to have a go at something new, even if they know they won’t get it right first time – it’s what we call ‘comfortably uncomfortable’. But they also need to be willing to ask for help – it’s a sign of strength, not weakness – and that balance is really positive.
· Take a risk: The biggest regrets in life are not about what you do and fail at, but about the opportunities that you don't take. We want people who aren’t afraid to take a risk and make a mistake. Innovation involves a lot of ‘positive failure’ – failing in the name of progress - the more you fail, the more you learn and we need people who are up for that.