Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUL. 27, 2014
version 14, draft 14

How To Build Better Innovation Skills

Unfortunately, innovative thoughts don’t grow on trees. But in order to gain success in such a difficult market, many of us wish it did. Making a commitment to become more innovative takes time, effort, and practice; but this critical skill can be learned and cultivated. 

Be Goal Orientated

You must have a goal in mind before beginning the process. Defining your pathway to success is not as simple as jotting down a goal and mission statement. Look inward and ask yourself meaningful questions about your goals, such as, how do I define success? How do I encourage critical and creative thinking? How can I change my approach to tackle tasks from several different angles? Sometimes simply changing your perspective and tweaking your process will allow you to arrive at new, innovative solutions.

Deciding Which Innovative Skills You Already Possess

Everyone has a light bulb moment once and a while; finding out how you come to your most innovative conclusions is key. The definition of innovation explains that these types of skills are vast and unique to each individual. Harness your inner innovator to determine which innovative skills you already possess and how you arrive at new ideas and creative solutions. 

Are You a Talker, a Doer, Or a Thinker

Everyone has their own unique way of working out ideas or problem solving, but most of these pathways are traversed by either thinking, talking, or doing. 

A talker must engage with others in order to work out plans, problems, and new ideas. If talking through it is how you come up with new ideas, it may be time to join an innovation group on a social network or assemble your work team to chew the fat. Bouncing ideas off others through creative collaboration can help the talker tap into their innovative thought process.

The doer must work out a plan or idea by trial and error. Each step, tinker, and mathematical equation is one closer to the final solution. The doer must get involved using their talent, senses, and logical deduction to work through their inspiration. As a doer, you must be adventurous and get your hands dirty to improve your innovation skills.  

The thinker needs a clear mind space to work through ideas. If you arrive at innovation through deep thought, you need to engage in activities that allow you to tap into your inner Socrates. Create a hypothesis about your ideas in order to break your process into several specific parts. Exercise your mind by looking at each section from a different angle and you will determine the best path to follow toward more innovative development of your ideas.

Be Inspired

Tangling with your muse can be frustrating. It’s important to find inspiration from several different sources. As an innovator, you need to learn how to take things in, analyze them, and define their relationships. Finding a different approach to a common problem can get your innovative cogs turning. Aside from research and number-crunching, allowing sufficient time for free thinking, creative expression, and deep thought. This can help you gain a fresh perspective on things; in turn, effectively nurturing your inner innovator. Always remember to be open minded, you never know where your next big idea may come from.

 

Image Via James Pethokoukis

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