Innovation – Do You Believe You Are Innovative?

As I spend more time with women in technology across the country, I am amazed at their passion and energy for their craft. They are confident and dedicated to their career and aspire to be strong leaders in the future.

As part of my research, I uncovered an interesting white paper which examines a number of important components for today’s professional women. One of the questions that seemed to rise from their research was a question of innovation. Do today’s women in technology see themselves as innovative?

In the report from Accenture/Glass Ceiling White Paper – Women in Technology: Leaders for Tomorrow I learned about a survey they conducted. The results provided a number of valuable pieces of information, one of which was the question of how women view themselves compared with how they view their leaders:

We interviewed almost 200 women working in technology roles, focusing primarily on junior and mid-level executives.

We wanted to investigate what traits women in technology believe leaders possess, and how their vision of today’s leaders compares to their perception of themselves. We provided a list of ten traits and asked women to select the three most accurate to describe leaders, and later on, we asked them to pick three traits from the same list to describe themselves. The number one trait women identified as critical for leadership was “Collaborative,” which was also the number one trait respondents selected to describe themselves. But that’s where the similarities end.

While respondents were more likely to describe themselves as “honest” and “goal-oriented” than today’s leaders, they were more likely to describe current leaders as “innovative” and “decisive” than themselves.  

Here is a copy of the chart that provides the results of the survey:

Click on the image to make it larger

Click on the image to make it larger

You can see from the results that the respondents saw their current leaders as innovative but it was the least likely way they would describe themselves. So that leads me to the question, do women believe they are innovative. The survey would suggest that the answer is no, so I looked a little further.

What is interesting about these women is that they range in age from 27 up and each tackle a different segment of our world. For those who believe everything that is going to be created has already been made; these women tell a different story.

The opportunity to be innovative abounds! But we have to be aware and see what is truly innovative. We might be surprised.

Ashley Good wrote an article, Are You Innovative and shares that she asked a group of entrepreneurs if they saw themselves as innovative and they all said no. She was shocked because she knew first hand that much of what they did in their careers were in fact, innovative. She concluded with this comment:

It occurs to me that not enough of us see the innovation in what we do every day.  Perhaps we don’t see it precisely because making things better bit by bit, connecting concepts to create something new, and encouraging ingenuity in others is a part of our day to day activities.

Curious about how innovative you are? Take this quiz How Innovative Are You but don’t take the results too seriously. We all have the ability to be innovative in our thinking, actions, and leadership!