IN A previous piece, we outlined some of the common characteristics of avoidance.
In the place of creative thinking and action, we examined a well-rehearsed set of logics used to delay genuine innovation.
But when an issue, which becomes a problem, is a crisis, persisting with ‘more-of-the-same’ will not suffice.
We can always make another choice.
Some simple steps towards innovation
Reality has no privilege
What exists, and is already in place, has no privilege. In as much as we have been doing something in a particular way, does not mean we should continue to do so.
Seek to look afresh at the things you ‘think you see’, or you ‘think you know’. Because the things we think we know cease to be obvious, and we can no longer see them for what they are. The familiar is a perfect hiding ground for what is problematic, dysfunctional and a latent source of frustration. On occasions, it is necessary to come at things otherwise to make the familiar, well ... unfamiliar.
Focus on a point of frustration
Look for a point of dissatisfaction or frustration in the tiniest, most quotidian of experiences. Search out the ‘gaps’ – these are those ‘invisible’ areas not adequately dealt with. And treat the ‘workaround’ solution for what it is – a symptom of a problem in need of a better approach.
See problems as opportunities
An oldie, but a goodie. Render the ‘gaps’, problems and spaces as opportunities, and bring them closer. Shine the spotlight into every corner, and extrapolate outwards to the wider ranging consequences of making it right.
Bring in other people – especially early on
Create an inviting and accepting space for collaborative play. Workshop ideas with others. The best ideas spring from the crucible of creative association, reverie and whimsy.
Anticipate the end-user’s experiences and needs
Empathy and analysis – add value to the design process with the careful consideration and systematic anticipation of people’s experiences.
Focus on how to bring innovation to implementation
Think about how best to bring new ideas and ways of doing things into play. Anticipate the range of scenarios and build out the steps, systems and processes to make it all happen well.
Deliver on your promise
To properly succeed, innovation also requires trust. If you commit to something, you must deliver – fully, every time and on time.
Plan for success
Don’t be surprised by success. Anticipate and plan for the consequences of a successful innovation.
What are the problems this may give rise to … and what, in turn, of the opportunities?