Recharge: 7 Ways to Improve Innovative Thinking

In this volatile world the old model of process innovation needs a new framework. It isn’t in sync with the way our minds work, which brain research tells us is more serendipitous than linear.

Innovation just doesn’t lend itself to being predictable and risk free. Innovation demands looking at the world differently, and finding connections between seemingly disconnected things.

Corporate protocol, management hierarchies, and rigid assumptions about people’s needs often create anxiety and stifle freedom of thought and exploration.

It’s surprising that we repeat things in business even when we don’t get the results we want, but we’re creatures of habit and old habits are hard to break. Changing a routine takes time and thought out of our busy work lives and there is a risk in trying something new. Even something that is simple and accessible and that has an obvious benefit doesn’t always go over right away.

It’s time for a change.

Endorse unexpected questions. Challenge existing assumptions. It’s better in the long run to have a hunch that something might work and try it out than it is to declare “I know this will work” and invest in proving it. Make sure people are out in the field with customers seeing how they use things, seeing what fails, getting their hands dirty. The process is non-linear and, yes, chaotic.

Here is your opportunity to completely recharge innovative thinking within your organization, while at the same time halting the vicious cycle of failure. There are 7 surprisingly simple things you can do right now to ignite your thinking, invigorate existing ideas, and boost productivity.

If organizations want to innovate the way successful bold newcomers have, they have to unplug from the constraints of “That’s the way we’ve always done it” and recharge, starting with the mantra, “Let’s just not do that anymore.  – Debra Kaye

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debra Kaye

Debra Kaye is an international innovation consultant specializing in brand and culture strategy for consumer businesses. Her clients have included Apple, Mars, Colgate, McDonald’s, American Express, Kimberly-Clark and many more. A frequent commentator on American Public Radio’s “Marketplace” and contributor to Fast Company, Kaye is a partner at the innovation consultancy Lucule and former CEO of TBWA\Italy.

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