In the business and trading sector, all we do is buy and sell innovations. I bet you cannot argue this because innovation is a new product, a new idea, a new way of rendering a particular service, a new method, etc. And believe me, all the present and past goods and services were at some point NEW!
Innovation is coming up with something no one has thought of or improving on something that someone has already thought of.
It requires you to have a great creative mind, connect the dots as fast as you can, and see the uniqueness of things no one else most likely would not see. This is what innovators get paid for, seeing a problem and creating a solution.
People come up with innovative ideas to address different situations, and some do not know how to get new ideas.
However, it cannot be denied that some individuals are naturally curious, creative, and very innovative, but this does not mean that others can not become innovative except if they were born with it. No, there’s room to learn and to become better.
Is your question how to come up with innovative ideas? Here are some tips to guide you on how to achieve that.
How to Develop Innovative Ideas
The first way to develop innovative ideas is to identify the challenge. What exactly is the problem? And how can you fix or make it better?If you cannot identify a challenge, you are not on track to get an innovative idea yet.
The solution has never determined the problem. It is a problem that always determines the solution. A solution is useless without a problem it is meant to solve. So, identify the challenge first and then acquire ideas for solving it.
Obtaining ideas involves getting new ideas that will fix the already identified challenge. This can involve studying, communicating with other people, critical thinking, etc. Doing this is one of the effective ways to get innovative ideas.
Read also: 10 Unexplored and Unique Business Ideas in Nigeria.
Change your environment or do things differently.
One of the ways to develop innovative ideas is to change your environment or rearrange it. Do you get it? Shake things up a little.
For instance, if you work on-site, you will agree with me that there’s a particular way that your office has been structured or arranged. And you have been at that office for how long, say 2 or 3 months, or over a year, you are used to it already and what it does is that it makes you see the office the same way, all the time.
If something is not somewhere, you tend to notice it fast. You want it back there as fast as possible, but imagine you rearrange your office, rearrange your desk, it gets you new ideas, gives your environment a new look (more often it is cleaner and more organized), and apart from that, it helps you see things differently.
Another instance is a fashion designer that is used to sowing a particular style in one way and now tries to sow the same style in another way; two things are bound to happen; the new way will either be easier or more complex, more refined or not, and coming up with innovative ideas is not more than that.
Or, if you work remotely and your workspace is your room, try your dining room sometimes. If you must use your room, you may decide to change your wallpaper. This is how to develop new ideas.
Try a new spot, a new place, a new arrangement, a new structure, a new routine. Your working environment has a lot of impact on your mind. Try a better view and keep your mind open to greater possibilities.
Read also: 50 Most Innovative Nigerian Youths.
Take a break
My sister, you are not a computer. You are no robot, bro. Rest. Take a break. This is one of the best ways to develop innovative ideas. There was a particular time you were bothered and needed an innovative idea. I can categorically say some of those ideas came up while you were chilling- taking a show, taking a walk, being calm, etc.
You are human, and you are not expected to be working and discovering ideas 24/7. You have been busy working and analysing scenarios, take a break to allow your brain and mind to process it and then develop an idea properly.
Go on regular breaks, and do not overburden yourself. Relax your mind, exercise, you are even allowed to daydream- it’s all part of how to develop innovative ideas.
Maintain a keen sense of curiosity
Yea, I know curiosity killed that cat, but you are not a cat, are you? (laughs). Another way to come up with innovative ideas is to be inquisitive.
“Why does step A always come before step B? What will happen if I do step B before step A? What are my chances of arriving at the same result or a better one?” Innovators disagree with the norm.
Creative minds always go outside the norm. Eat before using your drugs. Why can’t I use my drugs first and then eat? Challenge the norm. Try to see the norms in a different light and perspective, and you are learning how to develop innovative ideas.
Read also: Ways to boost Creativity at work.
Jot down your ideas and thoughts.
This is one thing you will see me always doing. It is one of the easiest ways to develop innovative ideas.
You cannot keep all your thoughts in your head or mind- some will fall out, you’ll forget some, and you’ll disregard some because you haven’t appropriately thought about them.
Pen down your thoughts, jot down your ideas, and sketch your designs. It is one effective way to get innovative ideas. Write down that random word that keeps coming, link your thoughts together and paint what you think you are thinking.
Innovation stems from creativity, and creativity, in turn, stems from the thought and processing of your mind. No matter how awkward or weird, or strange that thought may be, note it down; draw it.
See it as an incomplete puzzle that you need to work on. You can develop new ideas by getting a notepad or using one on your phone to write down your thoughts.
Share your ideas
This is one of the ways to develop innovative ideas and improve your creative mind. Share your thoughts, share your ideas. You need to do this because you are not an island, and you cannot do it alone; you need feedback.
Share and sell your ideas to see what people think about them. Take, for instance, you are a baker, and you are trying a new recipe; you need to share (even if for free to see what people think about the new recipe)
There will be terrible feedback, and it may come because the person giving the feedback doesn’t understand your intent or because you are not doing well enough but do not be discouraged. Rejections are part of the innovative process. Feedback will help you improve on your idea and can even get you a better idea that you would like to implement.
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Do you want to get new ideas? LEARN. Learning never ends, and learning improves us, betters us, and enlightens us. The truth is, most outstanding innovators are people who never get tired of learning. One of the ways to get innovative ideas is to be open to learning.
Be open to new fields- be open to new experiences and adventure, and be open to learning about existing things. No one knows everything, so keep learning. This is one of the ways to get innovative ideas.
Step out of your comfort zone (I am not telling you to step out of the water if you are a fish), but to see things in a different light requires you to stretch yourself. You have potential, so maximize it.
Read a new book, develop a new hobby, and do new things. They are all part of the ways to get innovative ideas and develop a creative mind.
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I am Oluwatoowo Onifade
A graduate of English Language from Obafemi Awolowo University.
I am a content writer, fashion designer and a baker.
Belief- learning never ends. You can learn from anywhere, anytime and from anyone.
My hobbies are arithmetics and reading.