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Dare to Be Different: Focus on Innovation

By Alyssa Gregory

InnovationDo you consider yourself innovative? Are you willing to step away from the status quo to try something new and different? If this isn’t how you typically operate, you may benefit from introducing more innovation into your daily life. Not only will it help you avoid burnout, but it can spark new opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Innovation occurs when you introduce a new idea, a new process or a new way to look at an old activity. Although it may seem simple, being innovative is not always easy. If you struggle with conceptualizing and executing new and different ideas, there are several mindsets that can help you focus on innovation. If you’re ready to try something new, here are some ways to allow more innovation and room for growth in your business and personal life.

Take Risks

One big part of innovation is being willing to step outside of your comfort zone and take a risk. Every new idea is not successful right out of the gate, but if you’re not willing to take a chance, you’ll never know if your idea has staying power.

Embrace Failure

When you take risks, you have to accept that you might fail. And while no one likes the idea of failing, falling short can teach you a million different lessons that make you smarter, stronger and increasingly ready for the next risk.

Be Creative

If you’re creative by nature, you’re already ahead of the innovation game, but sometimes you need to find structure for your creativity in order to use it for innovation. This can be a huge challenge and one that takes some practice, but if you’re able to develop focused creativity, you may find a whole slew of new and innovative ideas worth exploring.

Be Overly Ambitious

I’m a proponent of aiming high and going big, whenever possible. Just like with taking risks, you have to put yourself out there if you’re going to accomplish anything of value. And ambition is what it takes to be consistently and successfully innovative. You have to be willing to take the leap and risk failure in order to practice an innovative philosophy.

Remove Preconceptions

On the flip side of ambitious innovation, keep in mind that innovation isn’t always world-changing. You can be innovative, even if you focus on small and personal changes. A great way to start innovating is by letting go of the pressure of having to change the world and focusing on changing one manageable aspect of your life by doing something new and different.

Experiment

As they say, practice makes perfect, so keep trying for new and different approaches. Many times, innovation relies heavily on trial and error, so give it a go and if it flops, you have the experience under your belt for your next attempt.

What does innovation mean to you? Does being innovative play a role in your life?

Image credit: barunpatro

  • Amanda

    This post speaks nothing but the truth. Thank u for your insight.

  • Roar

    I would emphasize the focus part of it. You can’t innovate without first entering a deeper realm of possibility. You get to that realm by investing time, being creative, and focusing on what you want to achieve.

  • Niubi

    Excellent advice. If you look at http://www.dubli.com, you can see that the CEO Michael Hansen and the rest of the team have followed each of the precepts laid out by Alyssa to the letter. Remember, success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. It’s really important to remember that and keep going.

  • azy777

    Shot in the arm .. Thanks a million. :)

  • Roy

    I encourage you to expand your definition of innovation a bit. Yes, innovation is the creation of anything new, with the addition of “that creates economic value.”

    Why is this important? Invention, creativity, discovery, etc. is only relevant to humans if it is for economic value. Otherwise it is art, or expression, or possibilities, (all helpful in the PROCESS of creating an innovation) but innovation is all about market advancement.

  • gokeeffe

    Cool, love the post keep your brain active with new approaches!

  • Anonymous

    @Roy:

    I disagree with you that something is only innovative if it has economic value. I can see that most innovations can lead to a way for that but not always is an innovation directly profitable. Look at programming languages for instance, I could write an innovative piece of code that is more efficient for x reason, but that is not going to necessarily have economic value. However, programs that implement this new way of doing things could increase their economic value by beating out competition and etc. I hope that makes sense (it makes sense in my head but it’s hard trying to write it down)

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