Sometimes a change of perspective is all you need to fill in the missing blanks. It’s about finding the creative solution, implementing it, and seeing results from that creativity. This is called having an “innovative mindset.” Any employee, team leader, manager, etc., can have an innovative mindset by following a few simple principles.
Get curious and uncomfortable.
A lot of us might already consider ourselves curious people. But when was the last time you added a new podcast to your rotation, changed the route you use to get to work, or even used a new template for your reports at work?
Curiosity is all about making changes and seeing what happens. It’s about taking two different concepts and seeing how they fit together. In order to find creative solutions, you have to be comfortable with shifting your perspective. New ideas are around the corner when you change up your daily routine.
Apply this to your career by digging deeper when researching for a project, talking to team members in different departments, and being ready to accept uncertainty and where it might lead you.
Implement new solutions but be ready to move on.
One of the most obvious ways to developing an innovative mindset is being open to change and implementing the creative solutions you and your colleagues develop. It can be exciting to try something different and see how it improves your product, especially when the idea is yours.
After tracking and analyzing the results, you’re faced with an important decision: keep moving forward with the plan or scrap it and start again. Yes, coming up with innovative ideas and seeing them through is very valuable, but you have to also be ready to let go of those ideas. Having an innovative mindset means being open to failure and being ready for the next move. You own your solutions; your solutions don’t own you. If you’ve already found one innovative solution, and even if it doesn’t work out, that means you can find more.
Take a step back and observe.
To develop your innovative mindset, you may think you need to constantly be doing, taking some sort of action. However, sometimes what you need to do is stop and pay attention to your surroundings. Listen to understand, not to respond. Record your ideas in your notebook or on your phone. Take a break and notice problems, without thinking of the solutions first.
Co-founder and Chief Branding Officer of Away Luggage Jen Rubio realized that buying luggage wasn’t fun, no one was attached to a brand, and the structure itself was faulty. That’s when she observed a problem and realized she could find a solution. Observation is powerful if you’re really looking.
How are you developing your innovative mindset on your quest to be a better employee?