What sounds more fun? Filling in spreadsheets with data for eight hours or coming up with new and exciting ideas? I’ll go ahead and assume you went with option two. The opportunity to innovate is something most of us want more of in our daily work lives. Yet often, we feel we can’t be more creative at work because of factors beyond our control.
Perhaps your company is risk-averse and likes to play it safe, perhaps your targets are intimidatingly aggressive, or perhaps the sheer size of your to-do list makes adding anything new feel impossible. While a lot of these may be true, there are also some tips and tricks almost anyone can adopt to keep your innovation muscles strong and ready to go. And like any muscle group, the more you practice it, the stronger, better, and more unstoppable it becomes. Here are 10 things you can do on the job to make it easier to be more innovative every single day.
Your entire energy changes when you’re standing. Unsurprisingly, the entire energy of a meeting does, too.
– John Doe
Convert one of your meetings to a standing one and watch the momentum, enthusiasm, and action soar. They’ll move faster and be more action-orientated and more likely to motivate your team. Need help convincing your boss? Throw this article on the benefits his or her way.
Whenever you see something from the big wide world that captures your attention, put it on display. It can be any discovery: an awesome ad in a magazine, an unusually arranged menu, or even a well-written email that made you laugh. The more provocative, the better! If you have space on a wall near you, eke out a spot where you can display everything.
Innovation rarely happens in a vacuum. Pick a colleague you feel comfortable with with and make yourselves accountable to each other. Encourage him or her to keep trying new things, whether it’s trying a new place for lunch, pitching an idea in an unorthodox manner, sharing articles that inspire, or just doing some old-fashioned brainstorming. It’s better—and easier—together. We often think that ideas must always be big, transformative, and game-changing. But often, it’s lots of small, novel things that add up to make a huge difference. The benefits to small-scale innovation are huge.
Not only do they happen quickly and (most often) without a lot of fuss, they also garner the interest and attention
– John Doe
We all have things we do with our eyes shut. It’s part of what makes us excel at our jobs, but also part of what blinds us to opportunities. Over the course of the day, identify all the tasks you do without thinking. Take a moment to talk about how you could do them differently. Sometimes it won’t work (spell check might always be the best way to proofread your work). However, it will often lead you to find a new way of doing the same old thing.