Worry rarely leads to innovation but asking good questions will.
Questions pull you through the struggles
If your business, non-profit organisation or community starting to stagnate, or even go backwards? Then you may not be asking enough questions.
Asking questions is an important way to stimulate and encourage creativity and innovation when it comes to problem-solving and decision-making. Questions can be a real catalyst for renewed vigour.
Asking questions is a practical way to help you come up with new ideas, and help you to solve your problems and frustrations. Well, chose questions can help you to gain different perspectives on the same old issues.
Questioning can help you to nurture creative brainstorming sessions, unearth new directions and approaches and help you to engage people in determining innovative solutions.
Where is your focus?
If you are looking for innovation in your organisation, focus first on your customer service and the customer experience. These are the things that will bring in the money to implement innovations in other parts of your organisation.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”. Winston Churchill
Gather all relevant information. Don’t try and work everything out in your head, do a little research and bring all the information you have into one place. While old documents may be useful is seeing what has happened in the past it is always best to seek new information. Don’t be backward in putting a big data strategy into play.
Leave all your assumptions in the past. If you had already known how to solve the issue you would have already done so. The same old approach to the same old problems is not going to generate the innovation you might be seeking.
Start with easy questions first. If you don’t people will become bogged down. Easy questions get their creative juices running. Complex problems are best solved in small steps one at a time.
Use a whiteboard. Brainstorm everyone’s questions and issues before you start to look for a creative innovation. Be exhaustive and the focus on the important few. When things are in writing it helps to stimulate more ideas. If you are by yourself use your journal.
Be sure to engage ‘head and heart’. Pick a problem that your people cares about and wants to solve. Make sure the problem doesn’t already have a solution and it will be beneficial to all concerned.
Find the catalyst. Find questions that will act as a catalyst and stimulate discussion. Find the questions that will disrupt the status quo if you can answer them.
Nothing happens until you take action
Take action on important innovation, after all, you want the improvements in place as quickly as possible.
Bring fresh eyes to your problems and frustrations. Invite customers and suppliers and others in your networks who you think can make a contribution to innovations in your organisation and help with the implementation.
Don’t give up, you must be patient and persistent. Good innovation is what you will need to create a better future.
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Most meetings that I attend seem to run for about an hour. That is a good part of the day. especially when you have two or three meetings to attend.
Meetings, conference calls, emails, social media and talkfests all contribute to stretching our time too thin. How effective are all of these activities? Do they give you an adequate return on your time and resources?
The one thing that can improve your outcomes from meetings is asking the right questions about innovation and continuous improvement. Try and have at least one item about innovation on every agenda.