Working in the City many employees say "I'm not creative". However business and finance is a hugely creative industry.
I recently came across with video of two women trying to come up with an invisible bike helmet. It's worth a watch http://vimeo.com/m/43038579. People said they couldn't do it and they have.
Innovation, life and business are the same. What makes businesses and society work is unique and creative individuals who want to push business and society to be better.
Increasingly my role with senior executives is to create time to be innovative, take a step back and focus on the direction you want things to go, and strategically look at ways of implementing it. It's not what you wish for you get but what you work for. However in busy times we often work so hard we forget to look up and see where we are going. We get taken along for the ride. It's all very well saying I want to make the most money but what do you want your legacy to be?
These women took 7 years to come up with an innovative and imaginative product. We all can take a few steps to be innovatitve with our life.
1. Have a goal. Usain Bolt said on Jonathan Ross on Friday he always has a goal. He said he was having a meeting with his coach this week to discuss his next goal. People want him to do the 400m - he doesn't. He wants to try it as a long jumper. What is your next goal? It doesn't have to be big just clear.
2. Take a small step towards it. Inch by inch is a cinch. Yard by Yard is hard. Do something with that idea that's been in your mind or on your to do list for so long. Email someone for a coffee or chat. Scarey things become quite easy once you make the first step. Innovative thinking involves researching what others are doing.
3. Make a difference. Look at what is going to have the biggest impact on people. Think big. Don't worry about HOW you will do it think about WHAT you want and WHY you want it. The How quite often takes care of itself.
4. Be authentic. Think about what you like - how you'd like things to work or how you'd like things to be better. Find a real need and use that to make things better.
Innovative thinking is simply thinking about things from a different angle. What's another way of looking at it? What other industry could you get inspired by to help you find a solution? is there another department who does things differently that you could talk to? Another culture that approaches things differently?
Have fun finding solutions and innovative ways to make things better.