Spark Check - Why and how?

May 13, 2021
Innovation

What is the Spark Check?

When trying to move forward innovation and new ideas within a company, we have so many questions and rarely know where to start. The Spark Check aims to identify the people who are currently equipped to spark this change. There are two abilities that impact transformation and innovation. According to over a decade of scientific research from ETH Zürich the first is the ability to deal with uncertainty. Research shows the second crucial ability is dealing with the emotions of others, playing a critical role in facilitating change leadership. This includes building teams that drive transformation and helping others to overcome their resistance to change. Both play an important role in leading and dealing with consistent change, which in turn ensures that transformation can move forward.


Dealing with uncertainty

We have all heard the phrase “but it’s always been that way”. But just because something works doesn’t mean that there isn't another (even better) way to do it. Innovation depends on taking the chance, to see if there is a different way of doing something that may be more effective, more efficient, or even more successful. Essentially dealing with uncertainty compares to the three components of cognitive flexibility; awareness, adaptability and confidence. The mix of these three attributes is a key indicator of a person willing and able to drive innovation.


Dealing with emotions

For innovation to be successful and useful it needs to be human-centric. Imagine trying to make a product or adapting your processes without understanding the human factor. Will your product be used? Is the new working process convenient for your coworkers? Without the human factor innovation can’t be successful. Human-centricity is beneficial in many different aspects, especially in product creation and leading teams in new endeavors.

In the Spark Check, dealing with emotions is measured by examining how a person reads emotions - specifically, their ability to perceive the emotions of others and their capacity to understand others’ emotions.


Conclusion

Both dealing with uncertainty and dealing with emotions are factors which can be improved. This is great because it means that innovation can be learned! That being said, just like any other thing you can train, you have to practice to become good at it.

Find out more about finding and training an innovator.

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