‘Innovation’ is a bit of buzzword at the moment but what does it really mean and how does it apply to the every day?
One definition says that innovation is the ‘process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value and satisfies a need.’ Others say it’s simply the antidote to inefficiency.
So how do you get past the word and put real innovation into action in business?
Sometimes it’s important to look around and see what needs shaking up. Doing so will ensure you’re not stuck in a rut – both personally and in business.
Change your perspective
A holiday is a great way to recharge and clear your head but often you return and end up falling back into old, familiar habits.
Don’t wait for your next holiday in order to clear your vision, instead try and view things from another perspective. Look around you, observe, ask questions and identify what’s not working or what can work better.
It’s not just about saying ‘this isn’t working, let’s fix it’, it’s about asking ‘how can we create a better experience for ourselves and our customer’.
Resist the urge to ask common questions that produce recycled answers. The right question will open new ways of thinking – but you have you be willing to hear what people say in response.
Listen to what people are saying around you, whether that is your business partner, employee, spouse or gardener.
Great innovation can come from anywhere.
Collaboration is key to opening up new ideas and new ways of thinking. This means working as a team (as equals) towards a common goal.
Collaboration is powerful because it creates value and fosters innovation.
Directness, openness, empowerment, efficiency and simplicity are essential when employing collaboration in the workplace.
Give things a go
‘If you don’t try, you’ll never succeed’ – I’m sure someone famous said that once.
Whoever did, they were right! Because fear can paralyse a business. And if you have a fearful mindset it will paralyse your employees too.
Innovation is about balancing risk – protect yourself from failure yes, but you need to take measured risks that will generate insights to achieve success.
Have a go. Test and measure as you go along, refining your processes.
Play to people’s strengths
We view the world through our own understanding and experiences. As a result, we tend to think a certain way.
To run an innovative business you need to play to people’s strengths or else you’ll end up with tunnel vision.
By allowing people to shine where they are the most effective, you create a high performing team of creative thinkers, problems solvers and ideas people.
This will result in innovation organically.