“Dare! Just daring is meaningless, try things differently and when you fail, learn from the failure.”

On Monday, July 13, 2020, I sat down on my little workspace, with internet connectivity, listening immensely to the words of Avi Liran. It was the most anticipated time of my innovation learning, and I sat, longing to get deep thoughts and inspiration to gear me towards creative thinking and to learn from experienced and the successful persons in the industry. Mr Liran, an Israeli and also a Singaporean inspired the YIL fellowship cohort and most especially me. It was just the opening session we needed as young innovation leaders. His words came striking again.

“Why do you not ask for things you want?” Interestingly fear gets the best of us, and it is the biggest reason why you have not made that profit, launched that great idea or ventured into that business that would bring you to the limelight. He said, “Dare to ask!”

The truth is you will fail in life hundreds of time, but focus on healing. Take ownership of what you need to do, to be successful, think strategically and take action. Dare!

Connecting the dots, I remember some weeks ago before the boot camp, even before I got selected into the YIL fellowship, Dr Obichi was talking to me about the number one rule to success. He said “do not be afraid of failing” and now I can draw a striking connection that this thing called fear could mar a project even before it starts.

The YIL boot camp was a six-day long worthwhile learning phase of innovation management, translating academic excellence to career, learning to take ownership of your responsibility and transforming data into viable business decisions amongst others.

Why is the data needed for any business?

Mr Ozaze Ezekiel, a facilitator at the boot camp, taught us to understand that “data helps you understand the love language of your customers and the experience they want. Data needs to be transformed into business value, the same way that crude oil gets refined into gasoline”. 

Hence business leaders must make the data around and within their business ecosystem the centre of new planning, funding and revenue models. These are because there is a new level of digital transformation, a massive volume of data, and deep learning now than ever before.

There is more to innovation and even more. If you must do things as an entrepreneur, you must do things right. Mr Eyal Halamish led us through understanding innovation management; he summed the stages of innovation to acronyms IDEA- Idea, Design, Evaluation and Action. As an innovator, before you create a solution, you must understand what your problem is and why you should solve it, right?

Yes! From all the great lectures, I learnt a great technique to help you get to the core of a problem- the “5 why. Here you interrogate the problem statement asking why to each response you give for five times. Isn’t it great? It was also very tasking, I got stuck and even members of my team too, just the moment you think you have the answer; there is even a possibility of getting confused. 

Just take a few minutes to carry out the exercise. 

Now, there is something less technical, and I find it also very important, it is accountabilityLike it or not, this journey, your journey and my journey of every facet of life is about trust, time management, smart goals, team bonding, actions or choices and taking responsibilities. 

Always note that taking ownership is about taking initiatives, being trustworthy and reliable. We all need this for growth, no matter how skilled you are or great your product gets.

Being in the YIL fellowship boot camp is like having all you need to launch your next big thing, the toolbox, the materials and support to be successful innovation leaders. It is about not just about scaling excellence, but having a spirit of unity. The Young Innovation Leaders Fellowship is an intensive four-month program that effectively trains young professionals in innovation management in a practical and in-depth style.

As the boot camp came to a wrap, my mind wandered to the next few of creating viable and functional solutions to problems. We hope that in the next few months we will reconvene with our success stories of transforming governments, creating employment opportunities, meeting health needs or improved agriculture, perhaps a solution that will create inclusive and sustainable industrialization, together with innovation, where we can achieve the Nigeria of our dreams.

I am very grateful to Dr Obichi, the YIL team and the seasoned facilitators for supporting this incredible initiative and bringing it to realization.

By Jane Orikri