During the leadership training I'm doing this last year, I'm hearing the word "innovation" being used in organizations and companies as they look to the future and envision where they want to be in one or two years. Prospering companies think this way on a regular basis. Participating in some of these meetings started me thinking about how important it is to be able to come up with new ideas.
In order to keep up with the fast pace of change in the world and your personal and working life, there is a need to be innovative.
Do you consider yourself innovative? Do you cringe when you have to do something different or when your boss asks you to come up with ideas for the next project? Because innovation is a type of creativity, you may unknowingly be interfering with the process by telling yourself you are not creative. However, innovation is a skill that can be learned.
Have you ever designed a garden, come up with a different recipe, presented a solution for a work related problem, rearranged the furniture in a room at home or your office so that it looks better or is more efficient? All of these activities involve creativity. They all require you to adjust your thinking or change your mindset about what is possible.
Children are usually better at creativity than adults until about the age of 10. That is when they begin to pay more attention to rules and what their friends think. They become more insecure about expressing themselves and begin to hold back from expressing ideas.
Research from Positive Psychology suggests the following ways to change your mindset and nurture your creative side:
- Give yourself permission to be playful and make mistakes you can learn from.
- Allow yourself to approach a situation like a younger child when you are looking for solutions.
- Look for opportunities to try something new, such as a recipe or your usual way of going to work or a store.
- Quiet your inner critic when you are drafting new ideas.
- Ask yourself if there are new ways to approach a situation.
- Get the rest you need and know how to quiet your mind.
- Be willing to combine your ideas with others.
- Learn from the mistakes and successes of others.
- Have the courage to make your ideas known.
- Create a realistic vision for what is possible in spite of what others think.
The biggest mistake you can make when you need to be innovative is to hold yourself back.
Find ways to practice finding and making situations in your life interesting. One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is: What are other ways of approaching this situation? The more you give yourself permission to be creative, the more creative you will be.
Which of these suggestions will you use to be more creative and innovative?
Until next time,