Your journals and diaries are a good place to start being more creative.
“Just do it” doesn’t do it anymore
When was the last time you visited a bank branch? In recent years many people have never seen the inside of one and the chances are they never will, we have all moved on and are able to do better things with our time. So, how do people view the way you conduct your business and are you sure they like it?
One thing’s for sure, innovation, particularly in technology makes the old redundant. What’s needed to drive the things and stay competitive is innovation. The first draft of any innovation is just you telling yourself the story about what needs to be improved.
The new world demands a new approach from established as well as new players. The reliable old business models of the past are grinding to a halt.
How to get innovation moving
With the advent of globalisation and the technologies driving it, a host of new competitors has been appearing as if by magic. The innovation you create and how you adapt it to the challenges will determine the success you have in the future.
You have a critical role to play in creating the conditions for successful innovation. You hold the key. With a clear direction, an open attitude and a willingness to have failures before they get it right, you will be able to innovate and steer your ship to success in these unpredictable times in a more competitive world.
“Know thyself. Know the customer. Innovate”. Beth Comstock
Your direction must be clear
Without a clear purpose, vision and objectives it will be difficult to focus your limited time and resources on innovation. If you become too focused on day-to-day activities you will have little chance of focusing on innovation leading to more profitable growth and future sustainability.
To overcome this, you need to become more visionary about the future and to become more creative, focusing your creativity and innovation with a clear view of your destination and how to you will get there.
You know the importance of staying connected to sound knowledge and information and a to have supportive people around you.
Changing the conversations about your future direction with people you trust will be one of the best ways to get innovation moving. They keep you accountable, help you to focus, and challenge your assumptions.
While people can help you with specific guidance and expertise you need to have control of your own thoughts, ideas and opportunities. You will do this best by keeping a journal and maintaining a project management system.
Openness and transparency lead to creativity
If one thing stifles creativity and innovation, it’s a lack of openness and transparency. Closed minds are something to be avoided in a culture of creativity and innovation. If you want your people to start being creative, take them into your confidence and create a work environment of flexibility and inclusiveness.
You don’t want employees can be afraid to come forward with new ideas, for fear of criticism or even being fired. By making it clear that the business is open to new ideas, you can help create a culture that inspires and encourages everyone to keep doing better. It brings out the competitive spirit.
Be prepared to rethink the fundamentals of your organisation and the relationships it has with customers, employees, suppliers and advisors across your value chain.
Mistakes and failures are your teachers
Because of the increasingly competitive environment, you need to focus your creativity and innovation on improving your customer service and your customer experience. Innovation is not just about what you deliver, but how you deliver it.
You need innovation and new ideas that can provide a more sustainable competitive advantage. Today you have to be not only better but different.
If mistakes and failures are always seen as a sign of weakness rather than a by-product of striving hard for success, you will be less likely to develop the kind of breakthrough innovations that will propel you into a better future.
If you are too risk adverse you will stifle creativity and innovation in your organisation. Innovation depends on being prepared to let people fail and make mistakes.
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So much has changed and will continue to change and if you look at everything you’ve done over the last few years, you’ve probably unnecessarily over-complicated a lot of things in your organisation.
Creativity and innovation have been a great part of my approach to helping people and their communities. Quite often all some people need is a little support and encouragement and their innovation ideas take root and grow.
Innovation is about helping people achieve their ambitions in a better more efficient and productive way.