Innovation is a word that’s constantly thrown around. Business schools around the world will tell you to “be innovative”. In fact, 28% of business schools have the word “innovation” and its different variations in its mission statements proving just how much being innovative can help you. The thing is, no one can seem to clearly define innovation. What is it? What does it mean to be innovative? How is it supposed to help you?
In this article, we’ll go over all these things so you can properly understand what innovation is and how you should include it in your life.
What is Innovation?
In the simplest of definitions, innovation is creating something different and of value. A quick and easy example would be the creators of Google. Google ticks off both boxes in that it is different and it has great value. The thing is, anything can be different and of value so let’s break this down so you don’t get things confused.
When we say something different, these are usually products or services that are uncommon. These services and products have to have something different about it. What should make them stand out? What will surprise people? Whoever invented a touchscreen phone, a flying plane, or Bluetooth for instance could all be considered innovative.
The next key part of this definition is “of value”. What do we mean by this? When something has value, they usually bring something to the table. Is there a specific problem this innovation solves that would give it value? Does it help make people’s lives easier?
How can you be innovative in the workplace?
Now that you know the basic definitions of innovation, let’s talk about how you can implement innovation in everyday life and in the workplace.
Develop a growth mindset.
A psychologist once devised that a person can have either a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. If you have the right mindset, you’ve basically unlocked the secrets of the universe.
The growth mindset is the mindset in which you believe that the skills you’re born with and the abilities you have at birth are buildable. You can hone these skills and still improve on them. You can also still discover new skills and hone them. You’re not stuck with only the skills you’re born with.
Understand that innovation is creativity and hard work put together.
Next, you have to understand that innovation is not all about creativity. In order to make your innovations and inventions come to life, you must put in hard work. Once you understand this, you can be more persistent and persevering.
Attend workshops and conferences you find interesting.
Workshops and conferences are great ways to network and learn about new things from professionals who’ve studied those fields all their lives. Find workshops you find interesting near you or look for workshop and conference opportunities through your workplace or your school. These are great ways to hone new skills and speak to professionals.
Being innovative is going to be really helpful in the long run. Who knows? If you let your creativity run free and add hard work and effort to the mix, you might be the next Steve Jobs.