You don’t need to be an office drone. In fact, being able to innovate at work means more work will get done. Read for 5 ways to change how you work!

Ruts are easy. Easy to fall in, easy to stay in. After all, it’s the path of least resistance, the easy way…maybe not forward, but at least not backward.

By definition innovation is moving forward, and that is the goal. No matter what industry you’re in, innovation is the way to be seen, to move forward, and to love your job again.

But how can you begin to innovate in your field and stand out among your colleagues? Let’s take a look at five ways to innovate at work.

Use the Bad News

No one likes negative feedback or complaints from clients. But there are two ways to react to negativity. One is to push back, ignore the problem, and get defensive. But, that means nothing will change for the better.

Or, you can use the negativity as a force for change. Complaints and negative feedback are ready-made brainstorming sessions. Instead of looking for areas in which to be better, you have them handed to you. And you know they are areas that matter to your clients because your clients are the ones who let you know.

Complaints and negative feedback are ready-made brainstorming sessions.
Complaints and negative feedback are ready-made brainstorming sessions.

By innovating around areas of challenge you can be more productive and find creative solutions to problems that could cause long-term harm to your business.

It will also help you come across as a problem-solver and someone who is in tune with client needs; willing to go the extra mile to ensure great service and value.

Use the Buddy System

A buddy system is a solid approach when it comes to problem-solving at work. Trying to innovate with just one brain works fine. But double the neurons firing means double the innovative power.

Your innovation partner should be someone you trust and someone who shares your vision in your field. Apathy breeds apathy, so avoid co-workers who just seem to be cruising. You want someone with passion, someone with ethics, and someone who isn’t afraid of change.

Pair up with a co-worker who wants to work on innovative solutions with you.
Pair up with a co-worker who wants to work on innovative solutions with you.

Once you’ve found them, you can bounce ideas off each other. You can bring a fresh perspective and learn to see from other points of view you may not have considered.

Get Out of the Box

No, really. Get out of the box. The literal cubicle or office that pens you in each day — get out of it.

Go outside, around the corner, down the sidewalk. The simple act of changing your scenery can help you see things in a new light.

And getting outside, getting moving, can help your brain wake up from its normal drudgery and start pumping out innovative ideas.

Get outside of your office every once in a while to inspire more innovative thinking.
Get outside of your office every once in a while to inspire more innovative thinking.

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can come from anywhere. And if you limit yourself to only the walls of your office or the cerebral walls of your brain, you miss fleeting opportunities for inspiration.

Something as simple as a street sign can trigger a flood of inspiration that could fuel your next big idea.

Not to mention that movement combats the side effects of a sedentary office lifestyle. So, if you want to innovate, don’t forget to change your scenery every once in a while.

Use What Inspires

Everyone has people or things that spark their creativity. Maybe it’s a place, or a quote, or certain colors or images. Every person is different and finds creativity in different places.

Whatever inspires you, whatever gets that creative energy going, surround yourself with it.

Surround yourself with inspiration at work.
Surround yourself with inspiration at work.

Learn how to make a vision board, or use your cubicle walls as a canvas, covering it with images or words that inspire.

When you are surrounded by inspirational things, you won’t be able to help but have a constant flow of ideas and innovative musings.

Never Stop Growing

No industry is stagnant. This is a good thing. If we don’t change and grow, we can’t get better. It’s true for business, and it’s true for people.

So as your industry changes and evolves, make sure you change and evolve with it. Attend conferences, listen to TedTalks, and take advantage of continuing education opportunities wherever they are.

And don’t limit yourself to growth opportunities in your industry. Attend classes outside the scope of your own sector. Read books for fun, listen to podcasts, or take a course on something you’ve always wanted to learn. The human brain loves to make connections. As you fill it with new information, it will use that to create fresh and innovative solutions and ideas.

Keep up-to-date on the latest in your field.
Keep up-to-date on the latest in your field.

Learning to Innovate at Work

Innovation in the workplace is crucial to growth and competition.

Being someone who can innovate at work is crucial to personal growth and advancement. Learning to use your creativity to solve problems and create innovative new solutions helps you stand apart from the crowd.

Now, we’ve given you a place to start. But maybe you need a little extra help or want to push your employees to innovate and start flexing those creative muscles.

Innovators create innovators, and we would love to help create innovators with you. For more on workshops to kickstart innovation in your company, contact us for a complimentary consultation today!