Innovation is essential in today’s hyper-competitive global environment. If you don’t want to end up like a dinosaur in a museum, you must be willing to embrace change and be innovative. Change can scare a lot of people, but in today’s highly competitive environment managing change and innovation keeps people relevant.

Knowing how to innovate and make things better in your work environment and company processes are the new standard. Perhaps you think you are already innovative. But are you really? If you think that owning a smartwatch or virtual reality glasses makes you innovative, then you’re wrong. If you’re assuming that wearing a t-shirt with a ‘think outside of the box’ sentence makes you creative, then you are wrong again.

Being innovative means challenging yourself and daring to think beyond the borders of conventional methods, not just following the latest fad. It is about coming up with creative ideas that are useful and valuable for your environment. Now be honest, are you really innovative?

You don’t have to work in a company that has already established an innovation cadence to be innovative. You can be the catalyst — from vision to action — to start the innovation revolution by beginning to think and act differently. How will you influence behavior and innovation?

Here are 10 ways to help you lead by example and plant the seed of innovation in your organization:

  1. Don’t be afraid to have odd ideas — unconventional thinking is the soil for innovation.
  2. Ask yourself if the tasks you spend time on are really adding value to the company. How can I make sure that my tasks are aligned with overall strategy?
  3. Be critical of the processes you follow. How can I work more efficiently?
  4. Work hard but let your mind wander every now and then. Ideas cannot always be ‘evoked,’ but often come when you let go of control.
  5. Create a plan and goals for your ideas. Make sure to highlight the added value of implementing your ideas.
  6. Start your day early and see it as a new opportunity to add value to your company.
  7. Use your day-to-day activities to inspire those around you to creativeness and ingenuity.
  8. Don’t expect people around you to applaud your ideas immediately. People can take a while to warm up to something new and tend to be less enthusiastic about ideas that are not their own or ideas they don’t fully understand. The evolution of new ideas and techniques does not occur spontaneously, but rather grows out of hard work, trial and error.
  9. Fight the fear of failure — you only fail when you stop trying.
  10. Get started now!! Don’t wait until your plan is perfect to share it, because no plan will ever be perfect. Innovation is a continuous, evolving project.

Don’t be a dinosaur — define innovation with your own vision and behavior, reset and help your enterprise thrive by practicing these innovation habits starting today. Be ready for the future. Start today!

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