→The Innovator in the Mirror by: Joe Kim.

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could’ve been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that

Man in the Mirror

Michael Jackson

The lyrics to this song reminds me that if I want to have an impact in whatever I do, it has to start with me. As someone that is responsible for leading innovation at a global corporation, I’ve learned several things firsthand about creating a culture of innovation- @bigideajoe

Change isn’t easy

There’s a well-known phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” that basically gives people permission to not consider change, until something breaks. The problem is by the time something breaks, it’s much harder to fix or make better. And sometimes, it’s too late and can’t be fixed.

The most successful companies and individuals know that they need to be continuously learning and improving to ensure sustained success. That takes hard work and commitment which not everyone is willing to do.

Change starts with yourself

It is hard to tell others they need to change if you’re not willing to examine your shortcomings first. And all great innovators and leaders know that they’re never done growing, which means there are always areas to improve or strengthen.

It’s a mindset that is not easy to maintain. We all like to think we’ve arrived when we achieve a new level of success, but the best of the best know that reaching a goal is just the new baseline for the next goal.

So how do you go about making change within yourself?

Start with Why

Simon Sinek’s simple, but powerful Golden Circle is a perfect place to begin your journey of self-reflection. (If you aren’t familiar with his framework, you can see his Ted talk here:

It starts in the center with knowing your “why”. This is your (or your company’s) purpose for being. Not what you do for a living or how you perform your job, but the driving force of what brings you joy and how you will make the world a better place. Sounds simple, but it’s not once you really start thinking about it.

For me, it’s been a lifetime journey to discover and refine my why and I’m still working on it. I don’t think I’ll ever get there because I’m constantly learning new things and discovering who I am along the way. One thing that I do know is it all starts with the innovator in the mirror.

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