Innovation is imminent and necessary to move forward, we all know that. Knowing how to start innovating is a different story. What abilities does one need to possess? What tools does one need to have? In high-pressure professional environments, the pressure to be innovative can be overwhelming and may leave you feeling like you don’t know where to begin. Below we will share with you four tips that will help you create your innovation learning path, on your own time, adjusting it to your needs.
1. Leave old concepts behind
After the Second World War, companies started to prosper through mass scale production, made possible by rigid processes that led to extreme efficiency: costs were lower, production was higher. Largely based on this industrial logic, organisational structures and management practices in the past seven decades were built on numbers, control and rigorous goals; this Cartesian philosophy drove companies’ growth across the world, as it allowed businesses to manage their rigid structure. Humanity became really good at the art of producing goods in large scale.
Fast forward to the 21st Century, and the change in deep old structures that forces the world to face new paradigms is undeniable and, although we can recognise these changes, it isn’t always easy to let go of the Cartesian, linear line of thinking we have been raised to recognise as the only truth. The trouble is in doing so, we are stopping ourselves from being able to innovate and find solutions to modern problems we have to face.
This may sound simple – and even silly – but in order to be innovative, one needs to be open to deconstructing the mental model they have been raised to believe in so to develop new abilities and, truthfully, navigate the complexity of our new world.
2. Start from the beginning: learn Design Thinking
In order for your deconstruction of preconceived notions to begin, it is fundamental that you get familiar with the concepts of design. Design Thinking not only teaches you new abilities, it also shows you how to think in a more collaborative, emphatic and experimental way.
Attending a Design Thinking course is always a good starting point in anybody’s innovation journey. Design Thinking is a methodology that teaches people to solve complex problems and find desirable and innovative solutions for clients, organizations, companies, government and society; it focuses on real market needs and always keeps people at the centre of the equation. Having Design Thinking knowledge will allow you to resolve any complex problem with a fresh set of eyes.
If you’d like to know what happens in a Design Thinking course from an insider’s perspective, you can check out this article.
3. What kind of problem are you looking to solve?
After deep-diving into Design Thinking, you will have a whole new set of tools in front of you to help you conquer any challenge, always focusing on people. Being a Design Thinker is, in a nutshell, being an amazing problem solver.
Design Thinking is the basis for an innovative approach to problems, but your innovation abilities can go beyond, depending on what are you looking to achieve and what kinds of problems you need to solve.
There are lots of different fronts of Design Thinking you can deepen your knowledge by learning such as Business Design, Service Design, Social Innovation, to name a few. To learn more about all the courses Echos offers in Australia, click here.
4. Practice, practice, practice!
All the knowledge in the world will have no use unless you put it into practice. The more you apply your learnings to developing innovative solutions, the more you will become experienced and confident when tackling complex problems. Practice makes perfect, as they say, so practice at work, in our personal projects, in your personal relationships, anywhere and everywhere! Don’t be scared to make a mistake and remember that mistakes are just another step to success.