Innovation, it seems, is the way of the future. A recent article in the Gallup Management Journal delved into what has influenced post-industrial revolution business. The first influence was supply-and-demand economics; the second, process improvements such as Lean and Six Sigma; and the third major source of business growth, likely already in the early stages, is innovation. It is easy to see that corporate cultures that champion innovation – Google and Apple come to mind – are succeeding beyond imagination!
You can get on board with this trend now, and prime your own job security by contributing to your employer’s ongoing success.
Innovation will ensure that you stay competitive for the future job market by generating great bullets for a resume update and influential responses to interview questions. Innovation will also make you a valuable employee right now. Although we are not all born inventors, nonetheless every one of us can come up with ideas for new ways to do things. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Enhance services. Kick it up a notch to attract new customers and management’s attention. Innovation is not restricted to coming up with a state-of-the-art solution to a world-wide problem. Supportive customer service strategies, reformatted forms, new teaching ideas and even meeting minutes can be innovated. Creativity and innovation can be applied to everything. (Perhaps accountants are best to resist the urge to use creative accounting measures!)
- Tackle even the mundane. If your e-mail inbox is overflowing, and IT keeps sending you nasty messages to thin out your files, you are not only a nuisance; your harboring emails may actually be restricting the flow of innovation-boosting information in the form of newsletters or blogs.
- Study something different. If your company doesn’t provide an opportunity to study or spend time on something quite outside your normal responsibilities, stir and nurture your own creativity with off-beat studies. Who knows what ideas a study of 14th century mystics, holistic nutrition, or biographies of famous people may provide?
- Set aside time. Innovation needs time to dream and experiment. Listening to phenomenal music, walking miles along a beach, gazing out a window are easy, inexpensive, and accessible to all.
- Read and research. Read newsletters or visit websites that are outside your industry or sector. Amazing ideas come from unrelated areas that stimulate your “outside the box thought process.”And definitely subscribe to industry journals for the latest and greatest in your field. Even if you don’t come up with the initial idea, your customization of an idea, to fit your workplace, will be attributed to your suggestion.
- Join professional or LinkedIn groups, both in your industry and outside it. Whether in a physical location or in an online group, listen, ask questions, and watch this activity jumpstart creativity.
- Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes. Solve a problem. Organize those files, find a home for the tools, and remove innovation-impeding, mind-occupying problems from your synaptic activity. Free up brain space for creative thought.
Your career is yours to manage. Ignoring this trend will be a career-killer; embracing it is certain to make you a desirable employee.
– submitted by Stephanie Clark, New Leaf Resumes on Vancouver Island, B.C. 1-855-550-5627 | 855-550-JOBS