We all have a tendency to go with the flow. It is rare that we feel comfortable breaking from what is the majority in a situation and this can lead to a lack of innovation within the business world. There are some dangers when you start to go against the grain for the sake of it, but if you do so with a few points in mind, and with careful consideration, you can easily find that you are an innovator rather than a follower.
Become a Leader
Just because something works in an industry it does not mean that it is the best way to do something. Think of some of the innovators in business that have changed how we view things. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both went against what was expected and they changed the world because of it. Jobs, for example, took what was commonly accepted as a popular way of computing and focused on form over anything else. If you were a big user of computers when the original iMacs came out, you know what this means. Essentially, computers were very bland, ugly and functional. Apple went with something attractive, colorful and simple. Instead of having monitor and PCs taking up your desk, all was included in one unit. This broke the mold and made people look at what computers could be in a different way.
Mark Twain said it best; Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. In my opinion, Twain was looking at things in a rebellious way, but the idea is the same. If you are in a position where everything is the same, day in and day out, it is time to think about why that is the case.
You Will not Always be Right
Here is the thing about breaking out from the norm; you will be wrong at times. This does not mean you should not try new things though. A perfect, and simple, example follows. I always felt that writing at night was the only way for me to get work done. The issue is that things built up through the day and I would often be up all night trying to summon the energy to complete my goals for the day. It worked well and I was able to get the job done and I never thought to change it. I finally changed things, went to sleep early, and woke up extra early in the morning. Now, Im more productive. My work is done very early in the day and the rest of my day is open to handle other responsibilities.
The same thing is true in your own life. At work, there are best practices. Are those best practices because every other option has been explored? Talk to those that you need and ask to try something new. I promise you, failures and all, this will be looked upon as something that is key about why you are important to an organisation. The change doesnt have to be major, though it could be. Simply aim to make a change.
If you are in sales, and you or your team is putting up a good sales record then obviously things are working as they should, right? What if you tried some new approach and the results ended up bringing in even more sales? You would look like a genius. Here is the best part, your company already has something that works. Your team has the training and experience that is required to go back to the way things did work. So if your ideas fail, you still tried something and that failure will be looked at as an attempt at innovation rather than a failure outright.
Image Via: Patch