You can’t wait for permission to innovate – you’ll never get it.
You need to start changing things on your own – right now.
Innovation is a powerful tool, and it’s in your possession – so what do you do?
Here’s my prescription:
- Think about how much you can get away with – if you manage a budget, how much discretion to you have? If you don’t have a budget, what are the parts of your job that you control?
- Make a list of 10 things that you can do within the current scope of your work that will make things better for the people with whom you interact – customers, co-workers, bosses, whoever.
- Do those things.
- Figure out which ones worked, and do those more.
- Figure out which ones didn’t work, learn why not, then forget about them.
- Apply what you learned to the next set of ideas.
- Do it all again.
Focus on the ideas that went well – even if only one of them works, you just made your work a better place.
The point with this is to just get started with innovation. Try things that are cheap experiments. Learn from failures, amplify successes. Try a lot of ideas at once so that you don’t get too attached to them – if you only have one idea, the stakes are much higher, even for a cheap and quick experiment. And remember what English says about serving a higher purpose – that’s just as important for innovation as it is for art.
That’s how you can start to get the future out of your head, and out into the world where it will do some good.
Read more from Tim here.