How to Fan the Flame of Innovation
Author: Gerard Ferreira
In “The Flame of Innovation,” we noted the common traits of truly innovative individuals and companies. Hopefully, you read that and went “Ah yesssss, that sound jus’ like me!” Fortunately, if it just kiiiiinda sounded like you, not to worry: being innovative is a skill that can be developed with recognition and training (just like clockwise winin’). 🕺🏿💃🏽
Here’s how you fan that flame of innovation:
Tap into your creativity – On our site, Dr. Danielle Elliott has a couple articles that help with exactly this: here’s a quick read on developing a proclivity for creativity and a quick listen on becoming a more creative entrepreneur. In general, developing your curiosity will also help with this, as exploring the world gives you a wider base to feed your creativity.
Expand your knowledge. Don’t just stop at info that’s relevant to your business or topics with which you’re familiar; grow your knowledge on a wide variety of material. Read things that interest you and even things that don’t. You don’t need to be an expert, just have a grasp. This will help you connect dots that others won’t and be able to draw from successful strategies used outside your industry.
Introduce a learning cycle: Cause – Implementation – Learning – Adaptation. Basically, this means first understanding the root cause of your issue, such as by using a 5 Whys Analysis, then forming and implementing a strategy for your solution. Next, learn from the outcome and, finally, adapt your future attempts accordingly. Then, repeat the cycle. This enables you to evolve solutions and, just as importantly, encourages openness, learning and adaptation, which are key to innovation. 💡
Encourage responsible risk-taking. As this Harvard Business blog notes, responsible risk-taking is based on identifying the strongest ideas that have clear goals and a firm grasp on available resources. Whether the risk pays off or not, always learn why. If it didn’t work, as with the previous point, take note of the learnings, adapt and try again. Don’t discourage future risk-taking if you don’t succeed at first; the biggest achievements are often built on the backs of many failures.
There are other ways that can fan the innovation flame, such as subscribing to our newsletter and following our website (shameless self-promotion). For a couple more suggestions, peruse these helpful resources on How to be innovative and How to identify innovation skills and improve them.
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