Here's 10 sure fire ways to become more innovative no matter what your career might be:
1. Change your environment - the best ideas don't come from sitting in the same place you always work from. Find a space that you can lay out some paper, have a flip chart, use coloured post it notes, do some juggling, have a bean bag chair, do it a cafe. Anywhere but in front of your computer.
2. Give yourself permission to innovate and have fun. Having an idea generation session isn't an exam. There is no test. This is a laboratory for your ideas and a playground for your creativity. There are no such things as bad ideas, all ideas help to prompt better ideas. The brain is a weak editor. We can't edit what isn'twritten down.
3. Bend time to bend the mind. Use a time limit to help you bypass any limiting beliefs or procrastination. When the clock's ticking things start happening. Use something like a countdown clock on an Ipad - I use PClock and I give myself small timeframes such as 5 minutes to generate as many ideas as I can in the time allowed.
4. Be counter intuitive by doing the opposite to what everyone see does. If your competitor charges by the hour, what if you charged a fixed fee? If all your competitors are serious, why not have a funtone to what you do?
5. Identify the hates, dislikes and aversions of your customers. Nothing beats creating an idea that relates to what a customers pain points might be. List every dislike - ie. the things your customer dislikes or hates doing. Then list all the things that theory would like to avoid as well. Once this list is created force yourself to try and solve them. How would you have to change your business or service to deal with those dislikes. What would need to add or rearrange or eliminate to make it more possible?
6. What could you maximise or turn up in your business, service or product? This could be exaggerating something, emphasising something, increasing the size or impact etcetera.
7. What could you minimise and make smaller? Could you make the paper work less complex by minimising the fine print, could you make the time it takes to onboard a new client less cumbersome by reducing the background info required?
8. What could you add or combine to what you are already doing to improve the value, efficiency or effectiveness of what you offer? Could you add something to improve the visibility, advisability, usability, efficiency, automation, reliability, automation etcetera?
9. Adapt an idea. What's a super cool idea you've come across from a completely different world to your own? What made it so compelling? The components of what make this gadget, invention, service or experience so compelling is what we call attributes. Identify these attributes and then challenge yourself to apply them to your business.
10. Make mistakes. Become a User experience designer to minimise the complexity and mistakes that are made. User Experience Designers list the intentions that are made by the creator of a new idea/ product or service. They then create a list of the assumptions that a customer/ user may have in how the product or service should be used. They then identify the potential mistakes that are likely to happen and work to eliminate them from happening by designing and recommending improvements.
Here's to your big ideas.
Lead Innovation Architect
"From blueprint to bottom line"