In Twelve Ways to Become an Innovator – Part I, I discussed the need for new ways of thinking and suggested drawing upon other areas of our lives to break the mold and get the creative juices flowing. Here I provide six more gems for your innovative pleasure.
- Find your tribe: The people around you have a remarkable effect on how you think and behave. Even the strongest personalities can be swayed by their peers. When you surround yourself with like-minded, inspired thinkers, you’ll elevate each other to a higher level. Avoid negative, limited thinkers whenever possible.
- Walk away: You won’t produce an innovative thought while beating your head against a wall. Take a walk, ride a bike, pull the curtains and dance in your office. Do something to reboot your brain, and trust that while your conscious brain is goofing off, your subconscious brain is hard at work.
- Keep it simple: We often feel that big challenges need to have complex solutions. In most cases, hard problems are solved by understanding just a few key concepts and applying them. Break your challenge down into its most essential elements and see how you can solve only those elements. Then put the pieces together.
- Ask for help: Check your ego, lose your pride, let yourself feel silly for a bit, and admit that you don’t know it all. If you haven’t tried his before you’ll be amazed at how effective it is. Most people will jump at the chance to help if you ask nicely.
- Learn a new language: How we speak to ourselves is as important as how we speak to others. Become aware of the effect that your own use of language has on your innovation process. Don’t set up a future limitation by creating a verbal roadblock now. Replace “We can’t do this” with “Up until this point we haven’t been able to do this…” The latter implies the continuation “…but as of right now, we’re going to figure out how.” This creates momentum, which will spur inspiration and innovation
- Ask a non-expert: This is one of my favorites. When I say non-expert, I really mean a non-expert in the field in which you’re trying to innovate. Everyone is an expert in something. When you ask someone outside your “circle,” you bring in a completely fresh viewpoint. This may lead directly or indirectly to a new idea which could be the turning point in overcoming your innovation challenge.
To learn more about how EWI’s innovators can impact your business, contact Linda Holmes at 614.688.5049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.