Working Hard Gets You Nowhere

If it's one thing I've learned over my adult years, it's that working hard gets you nowhere.

You can keep your head down in the muck all day long and in the end, your voice still isn't heard, your best ideas aren't realized, and you are no further along at the end of the day than you were when you got up in the morning.

So, what's missing that gets you out of that vicious cycle? You aren't missing intelligence or skill. I know you have those nailed down.

I suggest, what you are missing is a critical piece of the puzzle that transforms working hard into working smart.

It's called your innovation style, and everyone has one.

If you know what type of innovator you are, you can unlock your natural strengths to work smart. That means performing at your peak, more easily creating innovative and meaningful solutions to obstacles, and quickly seizing opportunities.

There are 9 Power Triggers of Innovation and it's the combination of your top 2 Power Triggers that make up your unique Innovation Quotient Edge (IQE), aka your innovation style.

You might also discover that you innovate like Steve Jobs. One of his Power Triggers was Futuristic. Or perhaps, more like J.K. Rawling, with an Imaginative Power Trigger.

I've included a brief overview of each IQE Power Trigger. Read them over. Take note of the two that resonate most with you.

IQE - Innovation Power Triggers:



Magnetic & Inclusive. Motivated by making connections.

Collaboratives have an enticing style that draws people to your work and vision. You are constantly tapping into disparate people and ideas, creating intersections of random where innovation thrives for yourself and others.


Action-Oriented & Driven. Motivated by building something.

Experientials think in motion. You are incredibly hands on with your work and reject the notion that you can perfect something while it's still on paper, so bring on the duct tape. Because of your drive to bring ideas to life, you foster innovation by leaping the chasm from theory to reality, innovating in 3D.


Confident & Agile. Driven by creating clarity.

Fluids navigate constant change well. You flow in and out of undefined situations with ease and clarity. Whether consciously or subconsciously, you seek projects where the process and outcomes are undefined. You navigate ambiguity and bring innovation by making sense of the mess.


Pioneering & Fresh. Motivated by future plans.

Futuristics are on the leading edge of things, always looking for what's next. As a pioneering spirit you seek never-been-done ideas that will change how things are done today. You recognize that some of the most innovative ideas are based not on solving a problem of today, but creating a new behavior or opportunity for tomorrow


Inventive & Visionary. Motivated by creating the novel.

Imaginatives have a vivid mind that is always running and creating new things. You are a dreamer with the ability to turn your wild thinking into real world ideas.You are a key to innovation because you add much needed magical thinking that leads to imaginative and purposeful ideas.


Intense & Curious. Motivated by uncovering new things.

Inquisitives are known for being highly curious, always seeking a richer level of knowledge and perspective. You tend to not take things at face value and prefer to look for more depth. You are great for unraveling daunting problems and opportunities given your propensity for challenging assumptions - the perfect recipe for innovative thinking.


Insightful & Swift. Driven by feeling connected.

Instinctuals go beyond the conscious left and right brained linear thinking to tap the intuitive part of the mind. You often rely on your gut for decision-making. You have a great ability to connect seemingly random dots and you have a sixth sense for what will happen next, making you great at exploring new patterns of thinking.


Audacious & Fearless. Motivated by new opportunities.

Risk Takers have an adventurous spirit that is willing to take bold actions. When called upon to do something uncomfortable, you are the first to jump in. You leap and then swiftly find solutions. You push the innovation process forward and get people out of the box where innovation dies.


Transformative & Dynamic. Driven by problem solving.

Tweakers prefer to be in a constant state of incompleteness. For you things are never final, just ready for improvement. You ask what did and didn't work at every stage of a project, even when others seem done. People that constantly tweak avoid judging ideas as failures or successes too early, which is critical for innovation.

Are you fully leveraging your innovation style right now?

If you are like most of us, the answer is no. Moving forward, find more ways to engage your strengths. Put yourself in more situations where your innovation can shine. Leverage your innovation style in the most stressful situations and against the tallest obstacles. Do more of what works for you, and less of what's working against you.

Work smart and let a world of possibilities open up.

After reading, put what you think is your Innovation Style (2 IQE Power Triggers) in the comment section and let's discuss!