InnovationI know you know how important innovation is in your company. Any book, magazine or newspaper you pick up is shouting this at you.

At the same time innovation is something that you might be having a hard time with. I bet one of the reasons is that you’re stuck in a rut. That’s right; you do the same thing in the same way at the same time. If that sounds like you, innovation will be hard.

Here’s how you break your habits:

Take a trip.

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, you probably are. It’s way too easy if you own a business to just keep your head down and work, work, work. If instead you decide to see what else exists in the world, there’s a good chance you’ll learn something new.

Traveling might be the best way to see and learn things that tickle your fancy. When you travel, you have a chance to see how other people live and think. Take what you’ve learned from your travels and see how you can apply it to your business. I bet you come up with some interesting ideas.

Listen to a podcast on a topic you know nothing about.

In case you’ve not noticed and have been living under a rock there’s a thing called podcasting. A podcast is usually a free interview or talk on an almost infinite variety of subjects. The two largest podcasting sites are iTunes and Stitcher.

You can listen to podcasts on how to be a better parent, child, teacher, and businessperson or about anything, you can think of. You can listen to podcasts about being a trumpet player, hiker, skier, musician or even fan of the theatre.

Find something new that you’ve never learned about and listen to an episode or two. It’s easy to do and you can even do it in your car while driving to work.

I’ve started doing a podcast called The Sustainable Business. I ask the question what you would be doing differently if you were absolutely committed to having your business last past you. If you’re interested in checking it out, click here.

Watch a TED lecture.

The first cousin to podcasting is TED lectures. TED stands for technology, education and design. The talks are all under twenty minutes long and like podcasting, there is an almost infinite number of topics you can watch.

Watch one or two TED lectures a week and think about how the message can be applied to your company. I bet you come up with an idea or two that might be interesting to ponder.

Go to a meeting that has nothing to do with your business.

We tend to believe that whatever goes on in our industry is the only thing that happens in the world. This is absolutely a false statement.

One of the things I really like about speaking at trade association meetings is I get to see how that industry sees the world. Often it’s something that I’ve never thought about.

I’ve been able to take lessons from other industries and find interesting ways to apply to it my business. I bet that if you found an interesting meeting or class to go to, you would find something that you could apply to your own business.

Take a non-business class.

We live in a world where there are all sorts of different things we can learn. Take a free class at the Kahn Academy. If you do, you’ll learn two things. There are tons of different things you can learn and The Kahn Academy has an interesting way of teaching very difficult information in a way anyone can learn.

For fun, I decided to take a class on advanced math. Anyone that knows me knows that I believe business is based on arithmetic and has nothing to do with math. At the same time, I thought it might be interesting to see if I could learn some math.

I not only learned a little math, I learned a really interesting way of presenting information and learning. I plan to adopt what I’ve learned in my upcoming online classes that will teach business owners like you on ways to get un-stuck.

And, here’s the secret question.

If you feel that you’re having a hard time with innovation here’s a magic question that’s always helped……”What would happen if?” It’s the most powerful question that I’ve ever heard. It’s also a question that allows you to pretend things are different.

If you’ve ever watched a child you know they often live in the world of pretend.

Somehow, we as adults have forgotten that skill. Using the question what would happen if can help.

What are you going to do to help promote innovation in your life? What other ideas do you have for how to get yourself out of a rut? Let me know in the comment section below.


 

 

 

 

Topics: For business owners, Marketing, Business Strategies, Innovations, Innovation

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