Ways to Drive Innovation

I often find myself brainstorming ways to innovate even the smallest of tasks in my daily routine. Whether I’m at work or home, I tend to wonder how I can make things perform better. What can I change so that my processes are more effective?

In many cases, we find that an advanced business or innovative product begins with a question. Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid camera, was questioned by his daughter as to why she could not immediately see the picture he had taken. To which he then asked himself, “Why not?” This question led to a breakthrough in camera innovation that continues to influence camera technology and development today. So if you’re questioning how to make things better, you’re off to a good start.

Here are 4 questions to help foster innovation:

How can I look at this in a new way?

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, looked at the car in a new way.

Often times, we don’t want to “throw a wrench” into a proven concept. But the reality is that sometimes you need someone with a different perspective to suggest a new way. So speak up! Your idea could be a breakthrough for your organization or even your industry.

What can I change?

Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, changed the way the world uses technology.

Take a moment to think back to your very first laptop. Is the one you use today designed better? It’s probably sleeker, weighs less and is more visually appealing. I guarantee it performs much better and operates more efficiently than your first laptop, too. Find new ways to make your product or process work more effectively, better appeal to your audience and enhance the overall experience.

What can I connect in a new way?

LED lights date back to the early 1960s. They are now connected to produce a grid which is used to make LED screens and TVs.

Many companies are connecting online platforms to automate and streamline processes. Not only is this saving them time, but it also keeps costs at a minimum. Try connecting things that you might not normally think to connect. It could be the key element that is missing to grow your organization.

What can I recontextualize in space or time?

Limited by its physical form, written content has been transformed into audiobooks giving authors the ability to reach a larger audience.

While your product or service may be beneficial to consumers, is it being fully leveraged in the right context? If you aren’t seeing the desired results, try repositioning your product in the market or find a new way for consumers to access your services. A simple reconfiguration may make your product or service more appealing and result in a higher success rate.

The next time you’re faced with a need to improve a system, process or product, start by reflecting on the questions above, and use those insights to drive to groundbreaking innovation.