Ooooh INNOVATION! Such a hot topic - specifically in business. If you're looking for that perspective, this article will give you plenty to chew on, and this article will walk you through how to bring innovation into your business or organization.
Yet, there's another perspective that is often overlooked: we all have ideas, and with each idea, there is a chance for innovation. Innovation has a place in all aspects of life - for us all, young and old. Innovation is all about changing perspectives, whether our audience contains customers or people in our local or global community whom we want to impact – even our own self!
Innovation Requires Courage
In a world that conditions us all to follow along and play roles that suit others, it is difficult to trust in our own ideas when they seem to be outside of what everyone else is thinking. Yet, the very nature of innovation suggests that innovative ideas are held by a stark minority – oftentimes only one person (you or me, her, or him) – and it will require courage to free ourselves from how daunting this may seem. In this brilliant article, The Levo League reminds us that innovation “only survives when people believe in their own ideas.”
Believe in Your Ideas!
For our ideas to become innovation, we must act on them. We can’t act on ideas we aren’t fully behind or vested in and expect maximum outcomes. Once we’ve found the courage to believe in our own ideas, it takes even more courage to act on these ideas. I completely agree with Simon Sinek: “What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” What we decide to do, needs the ups and downs of action and practice – mixing it up, getting it wrong and right – to turn our ideas into innovation. As we innovate, we must remain courageous with the ebbs and flows of life, our learning curves and victories, as well as others’ judgement of our ideas.
Have the courage to get out there and innovate the world with your ideas!
Organizations, companies, communities, and societies all need courage to produce environments that encourage innovation. To have the benefits of innovation, we need to prioritize "empowering, supporting, incubating and highlighting the people who are gutsy enough to share and deliver on new ideas that only they can see." Even when resources are plentiful, groups of people find it a challenge to encourage the dissonance that innovation requires because it doesn’t support group think and team play. It takes courage to prioritize resources for this effort; the programming and training alone can be costly in terms of money, staff, energy, focus, etc.. Nonetheless, the groups of people who choose to be this courageous will be the most innovative.
Yet, even without resources there are meaningful things we can all do to encourage innovation in ourselves and those around us. We can incorporate elements of curiosity, exploration, and experimentation in everyday life. We can respect and encourage different perspectives and lens. Sometimes it is just that simple. I am known to say: "when you strip someone of their voice – employee, child, earth neighbor – you say NO to innovation."
Diverse Perspectives Give Rise to Innovation
The easiest way to innovate is to be our authentic self and share our perspective. No one can see what we see, give what we can, or impact what we can. The diversity that we bring to the table as individuals and with our perspectives produces the innovative value in our ideas. This also means that the more diversity we engage with while developing our idea, the greater our innovation.
Great ideas are born of diversity. Give the world you!
Thomas Edison said: “There’s a way to do it better – find it” and it was this perspective that led him to give the world his great innovations. Many people do not realize how innovative they can be. When we see a way to do it better - this is innovation!
Use what frustrates you in this world to find a better way — the world will be better for it!
It is easier to find a way to do it better when we take the time to think about things from various perspectives – diversity. When we do, it is easier to come up with impactful ideas and insights; it is easier to innovate.
We Can ALL Do It!
Our authentic, unbridled selves – our unique perspectives – will come up with innovative ideas. To innovate, we must be courageous and tap into who we were before we became afraid to have a view and a voice. If we’re not comfortable seeing things our own way and voicing insights that come from our perspective, we simply cannot innovate!
We are born curious and creative; we are meant to engage with our own lens!
Incorporating others’ perspectives while pursuing our innovative ideas will create the best environment for the idea and those interacting with it. To innovate, we must anticipate conflict and prepare to enhance our ideas as we engage with the diversity of others’ perspectives. We start with curiosity, then move forward with the courage to gain diverse feedback from conflict, and finally innovate by using creativity to increase the value of our ideas.
There’s no innovation without curiosity, conflict, and creativity! Get real comfortable with all three.
We need to get comfortable – at home, at work, in public, within ourselves – WE CAN DO IT; we’ve always been able to do it!
Ask yourself –
We can choose courage in this battle of love and fear. We can dare to innovate using our own lens. No matter how small our innovation, we truly CAN change the world! Active visionaries and dreamers off all ages have the courage to use their lens to change the world; they embody perspective, live ideas, and exude innovation.
I asked my networks what they found to be the biggest wastes of time in business. I found it meaningful to provide fixes and enjoyed engaging with you this week!
Most interesting, the responses indicated a divide between the perspectives of my employee and entrepreneur followers - my fixes consider this divide. I look forward to your engagement and feedback in the comments below!
The waste of time most of you would like to avoid in business is working under unclear instructions from leadership or when involved in group/project work.
Additionally, many of you responded that business meetings were the biggest waste of time you encountered in business; the concerns varied between:
Both issues stem from lack of proper planning. Let's start with a scenario we all are familiar with. Your team is meeting about a business concern or issue; someone thoughtful says "What if we were to...?" and the leader in charge says "Great idea! Let's get started with that right away!"
When someone in power has an idea or sponsors/green-lights an idea, it becomes a project. This project then becomes the responsibility of a team that is assembled - usually - before the project scope is effectively developed and determined.
I recommend developing business ideas well enough to produce a draft project scope.
This draft project scope should include:
In this way, you can avoid the wastes of time tied to having meetings. Even if the team meeting is not assembled for a project, the same concepts apply: determine the team's what, why, hows, when, and who at the conception of the group and update the hows to align with what matters to the business for each meeting period.
Not only does this process avoid employees having unclear instructions on how to move forward with their work, it also ensures that everyone involved with scheduled meetings:
I've had dozens of entrepreneur clients, and almost all of them suffer from what many of you shared as your biggest waste of time: business operations/processes and doing everything on your own.
I received responses such as:
Entrepreneurs are often working with fewer resources than is optimal for success. This often leads to an owner or partner doing much of what is needed to run the business. Trust me, I get it - it's expensive and risky to hire staff and leadership to manage them. It is easy to understand why small businesses make this choice. Yet, what’s pertinent, and often overlooked is the cost of that choice.
Dan Lok has a great YouTube video about valuing your time and productivity. In this video, he demonstrates that when entrepreneurs spend time on nonproductive tasks, they are throwing away money! He defines productive time as "doing an activity that makes you money" so it follows that non-productivity involves doing anything that doesn't make money.
Dan asserts that you will not be productive most of the time, and to expect this. Yet, he concludes that if we - as entrepreneurs - focus on accomplishing what he calls "critical success events" (the successive events needed to accomplish something), we will ultimately be as productive as possible. Dan's insights are valuable for the wastes of time you've shared with me.
Avoid throwing away money by doing things yourself that can be done cheaper and in less time by another with more skill.
Understanding that while there will be nonproductive time worked each day, we can increase the priority of what we do during our nonproductive time by doing things that enhance our ability to make money. Paperwork and reading useless emails rarely ever create more opportunities to make money; they are best left to someone else who doesn't cost your company as much as you do to complete the task. Creating effective systems and managing your company's bookkeeping / social media might create more opportunities to make money yet are usually completed in less time and for less money by someone who has the expertise to do the work.
Avoid throwing away money by not planning for success and improvement.
Understanding that there are "critical success events" for everything worth doing as an entrepreneur - whether productive or not - we can plan our days for success and improvement. If entrepreneurs determine the critical success events for their projects and tasks, it is easier to prioritize the work for the day. To improve, Dan recommends tackling the project or task you've been avoiding first to increase confidence and momentum for other projects/tasks.
I recommend that entrepreneurs have a sense of purpose or intention behind their work that drives each aspect of it. This purpose aligns with each entrepreneurs "critical success events" - and can be used to determine what to do today, tomorrow, next week, and beyond!
I love and am quite obsessed with the cycle of learning, applying, and teaching. This blog is my place to exercise this passion while fulfilling my purpose to empower.