The Art of Innovation – how to find killer ideas!
Innovation, whether it be in technology or in business is naturally very important, without it there is no progress or at least no progress in the right direction and needless to say, progress in the wrong direction is generally frowned upon.
To be successful one must go forward, forever improving and innovating and leaving all the lesser competition far behind trying desperately to copy and catch up with you. Of course they should never manage to catch up because you are always innovating, you are the one leading and never following!
So how can you get more creative and innovative?
Easy to Say
Innovation can take many forms such as new technology, new products, new methods and processes or even developing whole new markets where none previously existed.
However it is easy to say ‘go forth and innovate’ but it is much more difficult to actually do it. Innovation doesn’t just happen, it doesn’t respond to your commands, to truly innovate requires lots of hard work, brainstorming, research and creativity and then when you think you might just have it, do it all again only do it better and keep on doing it.
It is easy to get caught up in your latest great new idea but then the next day when the initial euphoria wears off you realize that perhaps it was not really as great as you at first thought, so keep going – the more ideas you have the more opportunities you have for finding that one really brilliant idea that will propel you forward and ahead of the curve.
Smash the Wall
When you are faced with what may seem like an impossible task, a wall preventing further progress, do not accept defeat – be persistent, smash through that wall or climb over it or tunnel under it or just go around the outside.. whatever it takes to get past it and then forge a new path ahead – embrace the impossible and make it a reality.
To encourage the innovation process it helps to build or find environments conducive to deep thought, creativity and innovative ideas. Endeavor to develop, nurture and inspire a culture of ‘outside the box‘ thinking as there is nothing worse for innovation than being boxed in and going nowhere, of accepting limitations instead of exceeding them.
Where all others else would turn left, you must turn right, explore the unexpected pathways and the wildest ideas and see where they may lead but always keep your eye on the ultimate goal.
Don’t stagnate or imitate, innovate!
To help kickstart your creative juices, here are some handy mind expanding tips and tricks:
Avoid Death by Meeting – if you spend all day in meetings, how will you have time to innovate and actually get any work done?
Create the right innovation environment to inspire your creativity.
Don’t let your inherent bias get in the way of a good idea!
Try a little meditation to get your brain in the groove.
Accept failure and embrace the suck!
Take a nap, or two! Or at least make sure to get enough sleep..
Popplet – a tool for generating ideas in the office or on the go. (For iPad and Web)
Solvr – enter your problem, then get ideas from others (or yourself) on how to resolve it.
MindMeister – a collaborative mind mapping app.
MoodStream – a strange inspirational tool that brings you streaming images, video and audio with presets and sliders to control the mood.
Going low-tech you can also try the good old pen & paper!
Do you have any tips for getting your creative juices flowing? Got any tools to recommend? Share them in the comments below!