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, which was 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 good at the art of producing goods on a large scale.
Fast forward to the 21st Century. There were changes in deep old structures that forced the world to face new paradigms was 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 accept 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 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 modern world.
2. Start from the beginning: learn Design Thinking
For the deconstruction of preconceived notions to begin, it is fundamental that you get familiar with the design concepts. Design Thinking not only teaches you new abilities, but 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, organisations, 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 a fantastic problem solver.
Design Thinking is the basis for an innovative approach to problems, but your innovation abilities can go beyond, depending on your goals, and the kinds of issues you need to solve.
Design Thinking has multiple fronts 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 projects, in your relationships, anywhere and everywhere! Don’t be scared to make a mistake and remember that mistakes are just another step to success.
*This article was translated, edited and adapted by Rani Ghazzaoui Luke.