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Don’t put yourself in a box

Don’t put yourself in a box

Successfully innovative companies know that they are more than just their products and services.

Instead of only defining your company by what it sells, identify your assets and strategic skills.

@makenzie774

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Innovation in business

The idea of innovation is taking off just as fast as the businesses that embrace it.

But, not all companies are prepared to push innovation within their organizations. Changing workplace systems and procedures requires resilience and flexibility, and it’s an unfortunate reality that many people are afraid of or continue to resist change.

An intrapreneur can be defined as someone who thinks like an entrepreneur but brings their ideas to the company where they are employed instead of launching their own business. 

Instate a "no idea is a bad idea" policy, gather the support your employees need to try out their ideas and let them pitch decision-makers at your company.

This allows employees to spend 15 % of their paid work time daydreaming, doodling or experimenting with ideas that don’t necessarily have to do with their work at the company.

This kind of daydreaming is the genesis of invention and fosters passion for one’s work.

Beyond just giving your employees time to experiment, you should also reward innovative habits. 

Nothing kills creativity faster than the fear of failure, so celebrate the success as well as the failures.

Encourage your team to do their own research as well. 

Let your employees’ personal interests and passions do the leading as they look into new technologies, reading articles and writing reports for your company.

Whether it’s a weekly all-staff meeting or a company bulletin, foster a space where employees can meet across teams to discuss and present their research, experimentation or intrapreneurial ideas from their 15 % time.

Get your employees to think outside the box by assigning them new and exciting projects outside the scope of their daily activities.

Studies show that certain activities that foster a truly unplugged environment, such as hiking in nature, can actually boost creativity by up to 50 %.

Encourage your employees to use all of their vacation time despite work pressures so that they come back to the office refreshed and full of new ideas.

Innovation starts at the top -- leaders should be role models for workplace passion, positive outlook, clear direction and vision, and of course, embracing change.

Start small, with any one of the mentioned ideas, and slowly layer in more until your company is a pinnacle of creativity and innovation.

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RELATED IDEAS

Many companies rely on a technical expert or team of experts to generate a stream of creative ideas. Harder problems call for even more knowledgeable experts.

Instead, research suggests that particularly tough problems often require the perspective of an outsider or someone not limited by the knowledge of why something can’t be done.

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IDEAS

  • Ask about passion projects. Learners tend to pursue something else outside work (training for a marathon, playing with a band, etc.)
  • Focus on curiosity as much as hard skills. Bring up problems currently facing the team and see how the candidate responds.
  • One of the most important things to a learning mindset is the ability to admit you don't know something. So be aware of how they approach the things they don't understand.
Stepping outside the comfort zone

To take smart risks, you need to get comfortable with being a little uncomfortable.

Leaders that learn to embrace choices outside their comfort zones are able to push the envelope in ways that safe leaders can’t, helping them to stand out and succeed.