What’s the most important phrase in innovation?
You could make the case for “That’s interesting.” Lots of great ideas start with curiousity. If you want to become more innovative, increasing your awareness of what’s going on around you is a great way to start. And when you find interesting things, you can start to learn more about them.
Another candidate is “That really bugs me.” It really stresses me. We know that a lot of innovation is irritation-based. Innovation comes from frustrations, from customer pains. When things don’t work right, we want to fix them. It’s an important innovation driver.
My vote for the Most Important Phrase in Innovation goes to “This might not work.” You can’t innovate without saying this. If there’s not a measurable chance that your idea won’t work, then it’s not new.
This might not work. But it definitely won’t work if I do nothing in fear instead of something in hope.