All of us, without exception, can innovate. Creativity is embedded into human minds since early age.

The problem is that our self-preservation instincts become sedimented with time and we start dropping the creativity ball. We start to accept current paradigms too promptly and forget how fragile most things are.

The famous North-American general George S. Patton used to say that "if everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." He was referring to the biggest danger to innovation: starting to think too much alike one another.

Thinking alike is normally good; even desirable from a certain perspective. Humans are social beings who are willing to create social groups which, in their turn, are sustained by establishing a series of ideas and principles that are shared among group members. Sharing the same ideas or, in other words, thinking alike, binds members of the social groups together. But how does a group composed of only "thinking-alike" members evolve? How does it innovate? The answer is: hardly.

Famous innovators broke with the established status quo at some point. It is said, normally as a joke, that the Wright brothers would never have invented their fixed-wing flying machine if they simply decided to settle at repairing bicycles. Moving away from the obvious and, in this specific case jumping from heights while fastened to heavy wooden contraptions, was the way to show a complete different way of thinking.

Moving to a more recent example we can recall Steve Job's iPod. A pretty ordinary device with far less features and a higher price tag than similarly available devices from competitors at the time. Job's key to success was his separation from common thinking. Instead of providing a simple MP3 player, he impersonated on his iPod an amazing set of easy-to-use concepts coupled with attractive designs. Consumers worldwide couldn't resist it even if affected by premium prices. Competitors fell onto the "non-iPod" category.

In order to innovate, companies need to stop thinking alike each other where they can afford and this burden inheritably falls on our shoulders as well. How are we thinking differently today?