Can you become a better innovator? Olivia Fox says yes (and a video innovation)

You might not know Olivia Fox. But she works with quite a few of the world’s top executives and organizations (like Google and Stanford University) to help them get to their peak performance. To underscore that, former Ning CEO is in the background of this video, after the interview she said “I learned a lot” by listening to it.

She helps them tune up their brains and become even more innovative.

I’ve been talking with her for a while, and she says that one big thing holding back people are those nagging thoughts that you don’t deserve to be where you are. She says that’s the impostor syndrome and she says most of the students and most of the employees at Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies have it. The problem is, she says, that it’s hard to innovate if you keep beating yourself up. In the video she explains why and gives us some other hints as to how to tune up our brains and get us ready to innovate more.

Talking about innovation, today we’re playing around with our own innovation: short and long videos. If you read this article over on Building43, you’ll see that we put up a short, two-minute video of this interview, along with a longer, 21-minute version.

I ascribe to Eric Reis’ lean startup methods, where he says to try something, test it out and measure the results.

So, which video do you like better? The short one?

Or the long one?

Why?

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

16 thoughts on “Can you become a better innovator? Olivia Fox says yes (and a video innovation)

  1. I mean if the folks that are employing these techniques are already intelligent that’s the key part isn’t it? This seems more like a self confidence seminar than an actual pattern to follow for self betterment. That’s just my two cents; for what’s it worth.

  2. I d think you’re on to something with this Robert. The short version is certainly useful, though I would say it’s almost TOO short. Perhaps editing this into something a bit longer..? I really like the interspersed videos and title cards. .looks allot slicker. How long did it take to edit together the long version?

    Thanks for the fascinating video!

  3. I d think you’re on to something with this Robert. The short version is certainly useful, though I would say it’s almost TOO short. Perhaps editing this into something a bit longer..? I really like the interspersed videos and title cards. .looks allot slicker. How long did it take to edit together the long version?

    Thanks for the fascinating video!

  4. Snarky commentary free of charge…spinning basic common knowledge (already in the Midwestern DNA), into some sort of pseudo-mystical arm-chair trendy pop-psychology science for raw profit, “smart” people sure are suckers for soothsayers that stroke their egos, just file all under the guise of ‘further development”.

    So the key to innovation, is not to be an “impostor”, but to be a self-appointed narcissistic personality disorder demanding the world take heed? That gibberish is pure gospel to the Valley, I bet her client list is a mile long. But the reality of it, no big secret, have a good product that meets a real demand, work tirelessly, don’t give up the dream, dodged determinism, and oceans of luck, tho luck not by lottery but by opportunity. But then in the absurdity of life, true innovation, may not fly, all sorts of human behavior sub-sets, strategy taxes and random Acts of God….

  5. I liked the shorter one, simply because this is a topic I’m familiar with and similar to scabbing a board in construction, this similarly re-enforced an idea I already possessed. Whereas, if I wanted to learn more about it, I think the long video is much more suited. To me, this presents the possibility of an abstract video, to be engaging. One thing I hate doing is watching even 10 minute videos only to find out that I want my time back.

    Youtube would be smart to implement a marker system so that when entire videos are uploaded the code automatically produces an abstract based on those markers, thus, improving interest.

  6. You asked Olivia “why the one person from your high school that gets into Stanford can have impostor syndrome when they are that good?”. The problem is that when they are in high school they are far better than the rest of the class and believe that they are so much better than every one else. But once they get into Stanford, every one else in class in just as good as them. They no longer can believe that they are better than people around them and that puts self doubts. Furthermore there is so much diversity in the class so everyone knows something that you don’t know or has achieved something you haven’t done. So every time you meet a new person, you feel an insecurity because you haven’t achieved what the other person has done.

    The successful then take a breath and think “the world is huge there is so much to do and i can’t be the best at everything in the world. I am good but I’m good at only a couple of things and there will be others who are great at some other things. And that is the adjustment that the high achievers have to make.

    Similarly every step higher they take, they go through a shock where they are at the bottom of the group and then they climb through the ranks. :) It’s like being a stud college football player going to the NFL. You go through impostor syndrome and then you fight through it and become successful. :)

  7. The long one could have been shorter. More doesn’t equal better sometimes. Not knocking Olivia or you Rob. This was simply an A/B test, and these are my results. Good luck. And thank you for sharing with us.

  8. You know I really don’t know how I feel about this type of advice. It seems like pretty common knowledge to me. I would like to see a bit more of her research, etc. I mean if the folks that are employing these techniques are already intelligent that’s the key part isn’t it? This seems more like a self confidence seminar than an actual pattern to follow for self betterment. That’s just my two cents; for what’s it worth.

  9. I have to say I watched the first video and it made me want to see the longer video. She is a very charismatic person and the subject matter is really interesting. Especially for me since I consider myself an introvert and a bit socially inept but I’m trying to start my own business and feel I need to change my own tendencies.

    1. Same here – I might not have taken (or made) time if I hadn’t seen the short version – it became a teaser for the longer one. And, if I didn’t have time for a longer version, at least I got something out of it and may have bookmarked for a try later.

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