At BIGBrave, we have dubbed 2016 – The Year of Innovation. Innovation is like summiting a mountain peak, it is no small task, it takes months (if not years) of planning. Every last detail is planned for and thought of, and even after all the meticulous planning, there are still things that do not go as planned and one has to adapt and improvise.

As with ascending a mountain, there are certain contributing factors to Innovation:

1) Collaboration

Individuals don’t innovate, it takes teams of people to innovate and to build on what the previous people built. We don’t have all the answers, but through exploring solutions within our teams and with our clients, we can identify opportunity which in turn we can use to innovate. We > Me.

Even if you climb alone, you still need teams of people to be able to summit a mountain.

2) Don’t follow the competition

If you follow the competition, you simply aim at catching up to them, at best, being on par. This will never be innovation, if anything, do the complete opposite to the competition. It’s more likely that you’ll be more imaginative than them when you start thinking outside the box.

When climbing a mountain, you never blindly just follow others’ tracks. You work out your own best way to reach the summit and stick to that.

3) Perspective

It takes the right perspective when looking for innovation, and when what you are trying isn’t working, go at it from a different perspective. One of the biggest assets one can have in today’s age is the ability to adapt to different viewpoints.

You can’t just look at a mountain and start climbing it – You investigate it from all angles before beginning your journey, and you can even adjust your course once you are in motion. Knowing when to change is key.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

4) Desire for Innovation

You must possess a desire and a certain drive to attain innovation. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect results. What worked for others, or even for you in the past will not necessarily work for you again. If you aren’t actively looking at problems and thinking of ways to turn them into opportunities you will come short.

Without a desire to reach the top, you will really struggle to ever get there. You can’t reach the summit of any mountain based on others’ hard work, you have to put in the hours and effort to achieve greatness.

5) Go beyond your comfort zone

Think outside the box is what a lot of people would say, I believe you should go beyond your comfort zone. To reach the extraordinary you can’t do ordinary. To develop and grow your ideas you will have to push your limits and sometimes try tactics you haven’t tried before.

Summiting a mountain is an extremely physical challenge and it goes without saying that you’ll be pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone physically and mentally all the time.

6) Persistence

Mistakes and failure are learning processes that are part of any journey. It depends on the way we look at these “failures”, learn from them and keep persistent in our strive for innovation.

If you gave climbing a mountain only one shot, not a lot of people would make it to the top. Persistence is key when trying different things and finding your way.

7) Iterate

Iteration is one of the concepts introduced by Eric Ries in “The Lean Startup” which comes in the form of the “Build, Measure, Learn” feedback loop, as well as the MVP (Minimal Viable Product), which could be used as building blocks for innovation. You can’t always hit innovation on the head straight out of the gate. It takes time, putting something out there, measuring the result, and learning from that result before restarting the process multiple times.

When training for a climb, you test different equipment, try different techniques and ask various knowledgeable climbers for advise. From this you can learn and develop your own style and preferences. No one goes mountaineering without these steps, the more iterations, the more you learn.

At BIGBrave we believe in doing extraordinary things by always thinking outside of the box, pushing the boundaries of innovation by thinking bigger and being braver than ever before.

The only way to keep growing is to keep challenging yourself.

Everything we approach during 2016 will be taken with these 7 factors in mind ensuring we are on the brink of innovation whenever we touch something new.