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How do you innovate: Big or small?

How do you innovate: Big or small?

We know that change and innovation are important. If you don’t innovate, you will be left behind. But how should you innovate?

Innovation can happen anywhere along a scale from small micro-innovations through to complex, disruptive, revolutionary innovations. For most of us, it’s the incremental type of innovation that will pay of most.

While revolutionary innovation has its place, and is often needed to ensure an organisation stays relevant, micro-innovation is generally the easier type of innovation to affect in the workplace. Larger organisations in particular tend to be quite risk-adverse, so to ensure your organisations success (and by extension your career success) you would be well advised to adopt a mindset where you continuously look for micro-innovations.

So, what specifically can you do?

1. Start by looking at areas and tasks in your workday that aren’t perfect.

Where are the areas that you could improve things. If there are no issues, then ask yourself ‘Where am I not completely delighted with a process?”, if you are asking that question, then it’s a sign you are already doing great, and you want to do fantastically instead.

2. Once you have selected an area of process that you think could be improved, go through and look at what possible improvements there may be.

Start with the ‘obvious’ improvements, and then expand your thinking into the less-obvious and crazier solutions—these may or may not be appropriate, but you will never know unless you are prepared to go there and see what brilliance may be hiding.

3. When you have a range of options, begin to evaluate them.

Remember to keep the end in mind—what’s the purpose of the process or behaviour? What are the benefits of it? Which options meet all the requirements and provide the greatest benefits.

4. Finally, look at the bigger picture.

Nothing exists in isolation—what are the possible implications of your changes? The implications may be positive, negative, or neutral; regardless, it’s important to investigate the flow-on effects so that you can be prepared for them.

When you engage this expansive thinking, you are more likely to see the different ways you can do things. What are the tweaks that can be made to improve productivity? How can you boost efficiency and effectiveness in your workday? Incremental improvements added up can lead to massive change and improvements in your day-to-day.

What are the different ways you and your team are making your incremental improvements?

If you know you could make incremental improvements the way you and your team work and would like extra guidance on how to best do it, then get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

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The Amazing Scavenger Hunt was a great way for our staff to interact with people from different teams, to work together, and to solve problems in a non-work situation. The event aligned with our goal of moving to a healthier workplace by being outdoors in a relaxed environment. The use of SMS technology was easy and appropriately paced, and the whole experience was very professionally run.

Claire Johnson - Executive Assistant/HR Manager Civil Contractors Federation WA

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