What does it mean to be innovative? Innovation can mean different things to different people and in different circumstances. In general, though, being innovative means introducing new ideas or ways of thinking. Taking an innovative approach to work can have positive impact for an individual and their organization.
Protective's Digital and Innovation team members share four tips on how we can all be more innovative at work.
1. Don’t start with the solution
While it can be very hard, examine the opportunities first before determining a solution. Sometimes there is a much easier or cheaper solution, and you’re overthinking it. And sometimes the solution won’t even fit the opportunity.
2. Find the actual problem you’re trying to solve
Sometimes the core problem isn’t obvious. Most people see Uber as solving the problem of catching a cab, but the problem Uber really solves is transportation. In fact, in New York City, even though there has been a reduction in taxi usage, the total market for taxis and ride-sharing services has almost doubled since the introduction of Uber. This shift was due to people realizing they had transportation alternatives, even when it wasn’t Uber. Find that core problem that you’re trying to solve.
3. Always ask why
Think differently. Yes, that’s Apple’s mantra, but why shouldn’t it be everyone’s? That’s really what you have to do. Don’t accept something just because. Be willing to ask why something is done a particular way and find out if there is a better way of doing it.
4. Be willing to pivot
Sometimes the initial problem turns out not to be a problem at all. Your research may shine light on another issue, and you should be able to pivot to that. Even though you may be invested in your initial problem, you have to be willing to admit that you were wrong. Don’t stick with an idea just because it was your idea or because it was the first idea.
Feeling inspired? Find out why you shouldn’t ignore your own professional development.