By Wilmarie Brits
Li Keqiang, the current premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, is quoted as follows: “Change calls for innovation, and innovation leads to progress.”
Indeed. Innovation is one of the key factors in the workplace and probably forms part of your company’s mission statement. It is very easy to talk about innovation, and being innovative can often open doors for you, but being innovative is often not as easy as it sounds. It is even harder to incorporate innovation into your day to day work responsibilities.
The book A beautiful constraint, written by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden and published in 2015, teaches you to make constraints like budget, time and resources work for you in your quest for innovation. This sounds very straightforward, and to a certain extent, it is – you just need to change your mindset. By following these three principles, you can already go a long way to being more innovative in your work environment.
There is nothing that makes you feel more powerless than when you’re facing a problem. Most people throw their hands in the air and walk away, or depend on someone else to find a solution. But the first step to being more innovative is to turn an idea into a solution, no matter what the problem is. Keep telling yourself “I can if…” instead of “I can’t because…”. Try to find a creative solution with the resources at hand.
The most common reason why people lack innovation is because of a repetitive routine. You drive to work in the morning, make yourself a cup of coffee and slide in behind your computer to check your e-mails. Feed your mind with creativity instead of diving head first into a pile of e-mails. Give yourself a bit of time in the morning to refuel your imagination with something that inspires you. You’ll be amazed how much it will affect your attitude and creativity throughout the day.
There is no use in denying it, we are in a time of unprecedented change. According to Stephen Shapiro, innovation instigator and author, what may have helped an organisation to be successful in the past could potentially be the cause of their failure in future. Therefore, it is very important to adapt and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs in your career. Make sure you attend workshops and read as much as possible about developments in your field.
These tips can help you to be more innovative, but remember, innovation is a habit. You need to apply and practice it every day.
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