Every successful innovation contains four key components: creativity, risk, hard work and optimism. Here's how they come into play:

Creativity: The skill and imagination to create new things. The ability to see things that don’t exist or to take a new approach requires creativity.

Risk: A new idea or new approach means taking a risk because there is rarely a guarantee of success.

Hard work: John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, developed a “pyramid of success.” One of the cornerstones is “industriousness,” which Wooden defines as “Work hard: Worthwhile things only come through hard work."

Optimism: Unless there is genuine excitement driving innovation, it is likely to die on the vine.

Taken from Innovation at Work: Helping New Ideas Succeed, a self-directed course by Mark Briggs at Poynter NewsU.

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