By Nurit Shmilovitz-Vardi
We’ve all been there. Your manager assigns your next project, handing you the relevant materials along with the following demand:
“This needs to be big. I want something different, something that stands out, fresh new ideas—something innovative!”
Outwardly you nod, exclaim some words of apparent enthusiasm and motivation, excited to begin this innovating. But inside you’re already banging your head into the wall. Innovate…something new? But how, when it seems like every new idea or direction of thought has already been done—how do you even start?
Innovative thinking has become a very important skill to have in the modern workplace, especially if you want to stand out and advance your career. According to Robert B. Tucker, a keynote speaker, consultant to over 200 of the Fortune 500, and author of seven bestselling books on innovation, including the latest, Innovation is Everybody’s Business, “Your functional and technical skills are what got you your current job. But… the most valuable skills you can add to your repertoire are not just soft skills but innovation skills.” While soft skills, particularly interpersonal skills increase your value as a team player, innovation skills are what will make you indispensable as an individual.
What’s more, acquiring these skills is in the hands of the individual, which Tucker describes as planning a “personal innovation strategy”.
Now, let’s return to our current predicament and look at your new project, whatever it may be—marketing campaign, new products, business development modeling. How can you start to develop your own personal innovation strategy and deliver something truly outstanding? Every individual has unique life experiences and perspectives which can lead to original ideas, but oftentimes these ideas are scattered, lacking the guidance to fully form and consolidate into concrete solutions. That’s when you find yourself staring at a screen for hours, just waiting for that “Aha! Moment”.
Luckily, there is a way to overcome dreaded blank-state syndrome: structured, systematic thinking methods. These strategies can be learned by anyone, and provide the guiding framework that lifts the cloud of fixed-mindedness and propels you toward the realm of innovation.
And now it’s easier than ever to learn and train yourself! Following the ever fast-paced landscape of technology and e-learning, SIT has now launched its very own Online Academy. Through the SIT Online Academy, you can learn innovative thinking methodology through engaging and efficient videos lead by experienced SIT facilitators, read interesting case studies that further reinforce the content and provide real-world context, and, most importantly, practice the skills through interactive examples and puzzles directly related to your own business challenges.
See an example of what we have to offer (and just one of the thinking methods to jumpstart your innovative strategy development) here:
Imagine the face of your manager when you present your brilliantly fresh solutions that can bring great value to your company. The skills that lead to these ideas are highly revered, especially now in a society that’s rapidly changing and developing at an exponential rate—the current environment starves for innovation capabilities and not only requires, but demands it in order to achieve career success.
Steer the wheel on your own path to more career success by taking action now and learning innovation skills with the SIT Online Academy. As an “Inside the Box” blog reader, get limited-time free access now to the first unit of SIT Online Course: Process Innovation is in Order!