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Nine tips for innovative ideas and solutions in everyday working life

Want to become more creative and innovative? Then just get started – creativity can be practised and innovation can be learnt! Daniela from the editorial team has put together a list of nine tips for an innovative approach to thinking and working. These can help you put your plan into action, even if you have strict framework conditions and your to-do list is full.

  • Changes do not always have to be huge and revolutionary to make a difference. Taken together, many small things can have a transformative, ground-breaking impact. Innovations on a small scale also have the advantage that they can happen more quickly as fewer obstacles need to be overcome during their implementation. This means they can pave the way for bigger innovative projects sooner or later.

  • Every innovation begins with a problem. Before you start tackling the solution, you need to identify the crux of the problem and define it as clearly and comprehensively as possible. This is the basis of a successful search for solutions. When defining the problem, always keep the user in mind and try to put yourself in their position. The wording is also important. Instead of asking “how do we solve the problem?” it is better to ask “what options are there to improve the situation?” as the plural encourages us to think and indicates that all ideas are welcome.

  • Every day we use lots of sources of information and are deluged with images, articles and videos. But not everything you see online and offline is relevant. For this reason, you should filter information, especially during the innovation process. Spend your valuable time looking at only those sources of information that are helpful and relevant, such as those of pioneers and founders. But ensure your selection is not too limited. It can be hugely promising to venture into completely unknown territory now and again to search for solutions outside your subject area and break out of familiar thought patterns.

  • Generally speaking, inspiration does not simply happen – you have to actively seek it out and attract it. Use different, personal sources of inspiration and make them visible. These could be newspaper cuttings and pictures on a pinboard or on a virtual platform. Creativity can also be stimulated by museum visits, discussions, podcasts, music and blog posts – when we immerse ourselves in new worlds, we often have completely new thoughts and ideas. Get inspired in this way before you start your working day. Are you feeling stuck? Take a short walk around the block and just let your mind wander for a little while without thinking about your to-do list or your full inbox.

  • Effective time and resource management is important. That is why you should invest some time in planning and coordinating your tasks. Perhaps this will make it possible to create synergies between individual tasks and jobs and become more efficient with your time? Focus on open-ended questions during the innovation process: where? Why? What? Who? How? By when? How much? These can help you maintain an overview of complex processes.

  • Innovation rarely occurs in a vacuum. If you are not working on a task as part of a team, find yourself an innovation buddy such as a colleague who you can bounce ideas off and motivate each other. And, by the way, the whole energy of a meeting can change if you do it standing up. Try it and benefit from the activity and dynamism that can emerge in stand-up meetings.

  • Innovation processes are often the result of hard work. There will be days when it feels pointless to keep going, but stamina and perseverance usually pay off. Stay active and curious, even during those phases in which problems and obstacles occur and you lack that vital spark. It is worthwhile remaining open to new thoughts and ideas and considering the problem from different angles.

  • You can work on innovations, but a flash of inspiration cannot be forced. Sometimes the best ideas come when you least expect them. Fortune or a dose of luck often also have something to do with it. Every idea, however crazy it may seem, can act as a source of inspiration for something bigger. In the early phase, all ideas are therefore worth something; unrealistic or impractical ideas are only rejected later on.

  • Got a promising idea? Visualise it to make it tangible and real for you and others. You can visualise it using images, prototypes or models, for example. Visualisation also turns abstract ideas into concrete solutions. You can experiment with them, communicate them effectively within the team and with customers and refine them to make them simpler.

These tips may seem trivial at first, but taken together they can help you gain a fresh perspective on problems and spot new potential and opportunities. Innovations call for courage and commitment. As time goes by, you are certain to inspire others around you who will then join you.

Comment below!

Do you have any other tips for more creativity and innovation in everyday work? Maybe you can also recommend books, podcasts or TedTalks on the subject? Share your tips and recommendations with other readers via the comment function.

February 2020

Comments

Merah Boumediene
4 March 2020

THIS SOUNDS BEST.
T HANKS.
BEST REGARDS.
M. Boumediene

Hillary
4 March 2020

Great piece

Thank you so much.

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