Here in Scotland, we are historically a nation of innovators and inventors and there has never been a time like this in many of our lifetimes, where we are in need of new ways to get the best out of ourselves and our businesses.
Innovation is often linked automatically with technology these days (which is very much part of what technology is), however, we need to take innovation in its widest sense when faced with such challenges across so many sectors and the economy is set to hit all-time lows in many measures due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
Eleven ways to better help us innovate in the workplace;
- Ask ourselves better questions,
- How might this be better, what other options do we have?
- If we had no resources and only resourcefulness, what could we achieve?
- If we have all the resources in the world, what would we achieve?
- Right we understand the problems, what are 100 ideas (or maybe 21) that can be thrown in to thrash about later?
- What can we stop doing right now?
- What is the ‘minimum viable product’ to get the desired benefits?
- If we have fewer resources and 100 things we wanted to achieve, and can now only achieve 3, what three things would make the biggest difference (play about with the numbers here!).
- If we are stuck on a problem, get specific, what exactly is the issue, get very much to the point, no general language and make at very clear what the issue is… now come up with general and specific solution ideas.
- How could we learn new (or revive existing) skills to tackle this, what would they be?
- If James Dyson or Elon Musk got their hands on this challenge, what might they do?
- Get resourceful: Use the who, what, where, when of potential resources, even if a little far fetched, and keep in mind that you may need to apply point 7 above (100 things to do, but can only achieve 3) and pull resources from other genuine wants.
Innovation by nature has risks, some measure might be possible and it may pay off to be some of the best business decisions that you have ever made, that said. it might not work out. That’s the nature of Innovation, fail fast if you can, avoid failure if it’s possible, that said, real innovation requires some changes in direction or corrections along the way.
Three key consideration for innovation in your business life…
1. Hitting challenges head on with an attitude of determination, being brave and confident in your abuity to get things done in the face of adversity.
2. Looking after your colleagues, staff and yourself is also key to successful sustainable innovation.
3. Make use of Linkedin, Facebook and other social platforms for how businesses, communities and individuals all over the world are applying innovation to deal with fast-paced changes across every sector that you can imagine.