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Productivity / Innovation

Business innovation tools: How to think innovatively

Most of us are used to thinking in logical and rational ways - in fact our business demands it! So how do we go about thinking innovatively? Here are some simple innovation tools to bring new ideas into your business.

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The use of innovation tools and imagination in business has been a hot topic over the last few years. If you are one of those people who can take a particular set of ingredients and make something completely different, or add value in a new way, you will find yourself a step ahead of your competition.

It’s not easy to stimulate the brain into thinking in a totally new way. But it can be done!

Dr Ken Hudson – one of Australia’s leading thinkers on innovation – has some simple but powerful suggestions for implementing innovative thinking in our businesses. If you like these, I recommend you check out his new book, The Idea Generator.

These simple innovation tools for practicing innovation can help you to think outside your normal mindset. So think of an issue you have in your business right now that you can apply these tools to.

"It's not easy to stimulate the brain into thinking in a totally new way. But it can be done!"

Innovation tool 1

When looking for answers or suggestions, ask yourself (or get some friends on board to work with you) to come back with three different responses:

1. A Business As Usual response, ie. one that would be expected;

2. A Different response or one that’s not expected and

3. A Radical response or one that’s left field.

Once you see the Different and Radical responses, your Business As Usual response may well look too safe and uninspirational and you might be tempted to try out an idea that is Radical or Different, or somewhere in between.

Want more articles like this? Check out the innovation section.

Innovation tool 2

Have a “Murdoch” day. Just for one day, become Rupert Murdoch, or Richard Branson, or any other great entrepreneurial person you admire. Instead of doing what you would normally do, ask yourself: “What would Rupert do?”

This really gives you permission to take risks and think outside of your everyday mindset.

Innovation tool 3

Allow 10 minutes at every meeting to listen to your intuition. Normally at meetings people are required to be logical and rational, coming up with the best decisions based on data and information. By making it legitimate for people to express what’s in their gut, you will get their fears and honesty out on the table. How refreshing!

Try these innovation tools for practicing innovation in your business and have some fun.

In the words of Edward de Bono, the leading authority in the field of creative thinking and innovation:

“Perception is a matter of directing attention. If you are not looking in the right direction it does not matter how clever you are, you will not see what you need to see.”

Megan Tough

runs Complete Potential, a company that helps businesses solve their strategy and people problems. She loves being a solopreneur, and when she doesn't have her nose to the grindstone, is fulfilling her other passion of fitness and health.

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