Becoming More Innovative

Jan 08, 12 Becoming More Innovative

10 ways to immediately becoming more innovative

1. Ask new and more powerful questions: instead of solving existing problems, ask more insightful questions. A question could be, “how do we discipline our child?” A new and more powerful question could be, “how do we make our child self disciplined?”

2. Change your eyes: Take off the glasses that you are wearing and put on someone else’s lenses. Imagine seeing through their people’s eyes.

Application: Choose a random letter of the alphabet, and list 5 to 6 job roles that begin with that letter. Then imagine looking through those job roles and how do they see the problem.

Example: Your objective is how to make your presentation more effective. Let’s choose the letter: A.

• A for Astronaut: how can you present the world view from high distance?
• A for Architect: how can you make your presentation highly visual?
• A for Accountant: how do you focus on facts, figures and numbers?
• A for Angel: how can you make your presentation uplifting and emotional?
• A for Abu Bakr: how can you make your presentation revolve and persist around a core?

3. Triangularize by thinking in threes: Most people will think in pairs, or opposites, or right and wrong, yes or no, pass and fail. The world is not as binary as people think, and this often restricts possible solutions. Your brainstorming sessions should require you to think in threes.

4. Use both languages to stating your goals – emotional and logical. Brainstorm five solutions that are logical, and then brainstorm five solutions that are emotional. A logical approach is how do we sell more of our product; an emotional approach would be, how can we have people talking about our product at dinner parties?

5. Don’t become a prisoner of measurement by being reactive. Find new measurements, both objective and subjective. Ask yourself what is the current problem; what is the current measurement of assessing the problem; what new and more powerful measurement should we assess with; and what new ideas can be implemented?

Example: Youth satisfaction at the masjid program. Current measurement: Number of attendees. New measurement: Individual participation and passion. Solution: How can we increase passion and participation among the attendees.

6. Develop a range from usual, to different, to radical. What would be a usually solution that you would offer? What would be a different solution? What would be a radical solution?

Example: How to deal with an exceptional leader in an organization whose motivation has begun to suffer? A usual solution would be to offer him a raise (perhaps a corner office). A different solution could be to give him more responsibilities. A radical approach could be give him a small company owned business to run.

7. Solve a bigger and more encompassing problem. Progressively make the problem bigger and bigger and then solve the biggest of the issues. Problem one: how do I improve my customer service? Problem two – bigger and more encompassing – how do I enhance my customer’s life?

8. Work counter intuitively: Find a solution that initially won’t work. If the problem is you are too busy, you have too much work, and too little time. How about working counter intuitively by adding more work. Perhaps it will force you to be more ruthless in managing your priorities.

9. Find new opportunities by studying unrelated industries. Create a pipeline of innovative ideas by picking up a business magazine and discovering what unrelated categories and industries are doing that you can adapt. Concentrate on the core of the idea.

10. Adopting a test mindset, by view risk taking as normal. Always push boundaries, occasionally you will fail, but it’s not really a failure but rather a learning opportunity. Experiment with new ideas and approaches, take calculated risks, and don’t accept the status quo. Set a breakthrough challenge to break of that status quo; maybe even impossible challenges, and then breakthrough! Challenge, stretch, or break free of your ordinary conventions.

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