Innovating Like a Pro: Derek Cheshire’s Guide



In today’s rapidly changing world, the ability to innovate is becoming increasingly important for individuals and organizations alike. Innovation is the key to staying ahead of the competition, driving growth, and solving complex problems. However, many people struggle with the concept of innovation and how to cultivate it within themselves and their teams.

Derek Cheshire, a renowned innovation expert, has been championing the idea of building the “innovation muscle” – the ability to consistently generate new ideas, experiment, and adapt to change. In his book, “Building the Innovation Muscle: A Systematic Approach to Innovation”, Cheshire lays out a comprehensive framework for developing and honing this critical skill.

One of the fundamental principles of building the innovation muscle is the concept of deliberate practice. Cheshire emphasizes the need for individuals to actively work on their innovation skills, just like a musician or athlete would practice their craft. This includes regularly setting aside time for brainstorming, experimenting with new approaches, and seeking out diverse perspectives.

Cheshire also stresses the importance of embracing failure as a natural part of the innovation process. He argues that by reframing failure as a learning opportunity, individuals and organizations can become more resilient and better equipped to adapt to change. This mindset shift allows for greater risk-taking and creativity, ultimately leading to breakthrough innovations.

Another key aspect of building the innovation muscle is the creation of a supportive environment. Cheshire encourages leaders to foster a culture that values and rewards creativity, curiosity, and collaboration. By providing the necessary resources, autonomy, and encouragement, organizations can empower their employees to unleash their full innovative potential.

In addition to individual and organizational practices, Cheshire also highlights the importance of creating systematic processes for innovation. This includes establishing clear goals, metrics, and feedback loops to track progress and ensure continuous improvement. By implementing a systematic approach to innovation, individuals and organizations can better manage the inherent uncertainty and complexity of the innovation process.

Overall, Derek Cheshire’s “Building the Innovation Muscle” provides a roadmap for individuals and organizations looking to cultivate their innovation capabilities. By embracing deliberate practice, reframing failure, creating a supportive environment, and implementing systematic processes, they can develop the resilience and creativity needed to thrive in an increasingly dynamic and competitive world. As innovation continues to be a driving force for success, Cheshire’s approach offers a compelling guide for building the essential innovation muscle.