When I was little, I quite fancied becoming an inventor. My next question was, what should I invent? As I’m sat here writing a blog for a comms agency, I am afraid to report I am yet to invent a cure for cancer, the next self-driving car or even create a vodka based cocktail that won’t give you a hangover if you drink too many.
So whilst my childhood dreams didn’t quite work out, for those of you still trying to come up with the next big invention, or even for those, like me, who realistically still want to keep things fresh and new on a smaller scale, here are some of the best tips for fostering innovation:
- Inventors have tried and failed many times to create something amazing by themselves, take it to market and then hit the big time. Using today’s technology from GitHub and Slack to simply the power of social media, harness your network and the minds of others to make an invention work. As Forbes recently put it, collaboration Is The New Competitive Advantage
- McKinsey highlights the importance of insights in innovation. Whether you are looking for an innovative comms strategy or you are looking to create the next iPhone, insights drive the best innovation, so real investment needs to be made here. You also need to know the right questions to ask to get the right insight
- Richard Branson, emphasises the importance of listening to ideas at every level. So don’t think innovation has to come from management, sometimes the people on the frontline have the best ideas. They are often the ones dealing with the problem on a daily basis
- Going against the status quo can be really uncomfortable for people, therefore you need to foster a culture where innovation (or at least experimenting with innovation) is encouraged. Don’t just think people will want to innovate, they probably won’t, you need to make this happen within your organisation, whatever the size
And sometimes, you just need to be innovative in the way you write top tips, so here is a great illustration of some important things to remember when fostering innovation.