Innovation is not a personality trait most are born with, it needs to be cultivated through practice. By opening your mind and thinking differently, you come up with ideas that maybe nobody has thought of before. You may even become a pioneer in your field when you master innovation.
How important is this for business growth. You have the potential to stand out in front of your competitors. Your business could grow exponentially with just one great idea. So how do you think outside of the box and find that game changing idea that will boost your business? Here are some ways to push your mind into finding new ideas.
Challenge Your Usual Mental Thoughts
To break free from stagnation, you must first address what you’re thinking. When you challenge your assumptions, you can start to consider possibilities you wouldn’t have before. If you see yourself as not having enough money to start an online campaign, you don’t get the growth from that area of marketing. To get the money, you could work overtime, sell some things out of the garage you don’t use or dip into savings.
You can also state the problem in a different way than you normally would. By rewording the roadblock or problem, you may see it differently. Consider what would happen if you don’t solve the problem or ask yourself why the problem should be solved. Tackling the issue differently in your mind can open up new insights. You may come up with entirely different solutions to obstacles by simply asking different questions.
Express Yourself Differently
If you’re used to typing ideas into a Word document, you may not be utilizing your mind’s creativity. According to a study from Princeton University, students who wrote with pen to paper having a greater expansion for learning than those who used a notebook to type. Taking this further, if you expressed ideas through drawing, painting or writing a song, you may conjure something great up from your creative mind. You can tap into potential ideas that are currently out of reach by doing something out of your comfort zone. Have yourself an artistic afternoon and you never know what interesting innovations can be conjured up.
Change Your Perspective
Your perspective, if left unchanged, will yield the same type of ideas every time. This doesn’t allow for the growth and change you’re hoping for. One of the ways to gain a different perspective is to talk with someone else. Ask a few people what they would do in your situation. Talk with friends or colleagues that are all in different professions. People that were brought up in a different culture may have totally different views that could be a game changer to your whole industry.
Another way to get a different perspective is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If you have a mentor within your industry. Consider what they would do in your situation. The closer you follow that person, the more you’ll know about their activity. The concept here is to identify with their traits and use them to seek out solutions. So, if you’re thinking Richard Branson, you might bring in traits like risk taking, big thinking and flashy advertising.
Be Aware at All Times
You’ve probably seen a crime story at one point where the detective is struggling with a mystery. He finds the missing puzzle piece while relaxing at a coffee shop. The coffee cup that inspires him is the key to the case because he’s reminded of a second coffee cup found at the murder scene. This also applies to innovative ideas. Many of the most brilliant ideas occurred from “happy accidents” during times you aren’t focused on solutions. Innovation is less of a systematic method and is connected to the creative mind so ideas come sporadically and usually from left field.
Of course, it’s important to brainstorm as the “happy accident” is a result of putting many things into your conscious. It is said that innovative ideas are always going to have an element of serendipity to them. Pay attention to where possibilities reveal themselves. Real life situations like a mother struggling in the park with her dog and baby stroller. If you’re in the industry, you may realize there should be a solution for this problem. If you sell services online, check out forums within your industry and see what people are crying out for.
Innovative ideas need a solid foundation based on positivity and other enablers. Maintaining practices that nurture your mind will enhance your ability to come up with incredible ideas. Here are some practices that can promote creativity within:
- Have faith in yourself and believe that ideas will come. These kind of pep talks with yourself will allow you to perform better.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes things which make you feel good. This can range from listening to music, playing with your kids, napping or taking a walk. You may think that working hard will benefit you. The brain breaks are probably more beneficial and often as you are in play time, the big ideas will come to you then.
- Change your settings from time to time. If you work from home, go work at a coffee shop. If you’re working in an office, brainstorming might work better away from your desk. Have a meeting outside in the park instead of a stuffy boardroom.
- De-clutter your life. Clean out your closets and keep them organized. Do the same in every space of your home and office.
- When you work, turn off your phone and only check in on things at specific times you’ve set. Brainstorming for ideas should be distraction free.
In order to maximize business growth, new ideas are essential. By practicing techniques that force the mind to think out of the box, you can acquire the skill of innovative thinking. By daily creating a positive atmosphere through the practices above, you allow space for creativity. Creativity is at the core of innovation. Another foundation of innovation is knowledge. You have to have an expert knowledge in your field. Know what people want, know the limitations and the tone to present your innovative ideas.