What does it mean to innovate?
How about a brainstorm…
To create. To Improve. New. Fresh. Alive. Outside of the box. Different. Useful. Resourceful. Not wasteful. Fascinating. Interesting. Exciting. Inventive. Creative. To rise above. To soar.
How does one go about being innovative?
Is innovation something I can be doing on a daily basis? Can I be creative, inventive and innovative in the everyday?
As I change nappies, wash dishes, bathe the children, vacuum the floors, walk the kids to school, do the shopping…can I be innovative?
Is it possible to make innovation a way of thinking? A lifestyle choice? Is there a way to think outside the box so that I can stay fresh and alive, resourceful and fascinating?
In order for innovation to flourish, I wonder if first we need a conducive environment. Perhaps we need to create cultures in which we:
- Feel safe – find people with whom we can be ourselves without fear of ridicule
- Open dialogue and genuine listening – to express and explore our ideas
- Courage to have a go – embracing setbacks, failures and knockbacks
- To be willing to break the rules of ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ – to be authentic
- The energy to think clearly – adequate rest and relaxation
- Space to imagine and experiment – less noise, chatter, and endless activity.
- Intentional and considered choices – how am I spending my time?
- Practice gratefulness and thankfulness – perspective in the everyday demands.
- To embrace big dreams and endless possibilities – just because you can.
- Be mindful – grab hold of and enjoy the moment – never be too old to play.
Brené Brown, in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, writes about people who ‘Dig deep’ in order to live ‘wholeheartedly’. I really like the following acrostic as an easy reminder to be thinking innovatively – particularly when I feel stuck or weighed down:
Deliberate in their thoughts and behaviours through prayer, meditation, or simply setting their intentions;
Inspired to make new and different choices;
Going. They take action.
I want to innovate.
I want to be courageous. I want to be free to be me. I want to soar.
In reality, I think that some days I will Soar…
…and some days I will just Survive.
And that’s okay.