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Monday, October 1, 2012

How to Improve Your Innovative Skills


Start by deliberate innovation practices
Don't wait for innovation to strike you as you go about your daily life. Innovation is a skill that needs you to practice it all the time. If you read these tips and make yourself a promise that when you wake up tomorrow you will try and do all of them, you will have started being innovative.
Challenge the ways things are done
This is a big one and is the easiest way to identify innovative people because they are always looking to see if things can be done better. They are always challenging the traditional way of performing and unfortunately fired from their jobs because of this.
Employers should embrace these people because it is only by challenging how things are done that we can do them better. If you hear anyone tell you "It has always been done this way." then you know this is an area that desperately needs some innovation.
Practice by looking at all the steps involved in the activity and see if any are wasted or done better with current technology.
Become a child again
Children have a great knack for getting to the heart of the matter quickly, and so can you. If you follow this simple technique.
When faced with an activity or task ask why it is done this way. Then for each answer they give you, ask why at least four more times.
This will drill down to the real reason why something is being done and surprisingly it is not always what you think. This type of questioning is useful in uncovering and removing the "always has" responses.
In some cases even giving the product or items to children and allowing them to play with it can highlight factors that adults miss.
Break your own routines and habits
To become innovative you need to freshen up your creative juices and experience new things yourself. This means you need to stop doing what you always do and apply the following practices in your daily activities.
  • Change the way you go and leave work
  • Travel to another nearby town for the day and just watch people do what they do
  • Eat at different restaurants or dining rooms
  • Find a recreational activity that you haven't done before and go do it this weekend
  • Read a book that you normally would not ever read
  • Open the dictionary to a random page and memorise at least five new words you did not know
  • Join a social group that you wouldn't normally join and listen to their ideas
Overall innovation is about experiencing different and new ways of doing activities so you can see if any will cross over to your activities.
Get involved in learning for life and challenge yourself to do at least thirty new things every year.
Information supplied by Paul Baker
Over twenty years of business development & change management strategies successfully used in National organisations across Australia. The focus is on continuous improvement of business systems to stimulate growth through our principles of Initiate, Inspire, Innovate.
Customer-centric focus using our extensive experience in consumer behaviour and business process operations to find ways to help business owners manage their organisations.
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