Alistair Mowat, Innovation Leader – Sustainability at ZESPRI, discusses personal skills that he brings to the role and how these skills were fostered. He explains that different people approach problems in different ways, so a diverse range of skills can be important in innovation.
So when we look at my role as an innovation leader at ZESPRI, the type of skills that I bring to the role, and particularly in a project such as this, is the ability to bring together a range of disparate ideas and start shaping those with collaborators into what is potentially a shared vision.
When we look at developing the skills for bringing together diverse ideas, there’s probably quite a bit of debate about whether it’s nature or nurture, whether you’re born with it or whether you learn it. There’s probably an element of both. Certainly in my own case, I’m fairly confident that I was born with those skills.
When I was growing up, there were opportunities which helped foster those skills to be innovative. In say your schooling environment or when you go to university, you’ll encounter a diverse range of teaching styles, and you’ll find affinity with some of those styles, and you’ll have to put in more time and effort with those other teaching styles which may be a little different.
But it’s important to recognise that there is a diversity of ways of how people approach problems. In my case, I can bring together diverse ideas, but I’m also very cognisant of the skills of other people who are able to bring that depth and focus on a particular area, and it’s important to be able to communicate and relate to a range of people with different thinking styles to your own.
Dr Martin Markotsis, SCION
Alistair Mowat, ZESPRI