Many people get stuck when it comes to taking actions to innovate because they think of it in terms of ‘inventing‘. They think that you have to invent something that is brand new, something that hasn’t been done anywhere in the world before. No doubt this form of innovation is necessary for humans to continue to progress, but it isn’t a particularly useful definition for the vast majority of us. Innovation is contextual.
The ‘never been done before‘ context is best considered within your local context. If your team has never conducted ‘stand up meetings‘ before and you introduce them and they become an effective form of communication for your team, then you have innovated. If you introduce an app that helps your team to more quickly access sales data while they are out on the road, and the use of that app is useful for your team, then you have innovated. If you copy and modify the telephone welcome script from a company that you visited yourself as a customer, and the new script ‘works‘ for your team and improved engagement with your customers, then you have innovated. If you visit another department in your organisation and you copy their approach to how they understand the expectations of their customers to your department and it improves your customer relationships, then you have innovated.Innovation is more ‘doable‘ than you think.
If you take something (a process, a service, a product) and put it with something else (an idea, a concept, a new process, another service, another product) and what they produce when they are put together is useful, then you have innovated.
In terms of the recruitment process interviewers are more regularly asking interviewees to share how they have contributed to innovation. Seeing innovation from the perspective that I have shared with you will enable you to have clear responses to those questions. And that has to help your chances of getting the job you want!
Take out your tablet and note down the innovations that you have helped bring to your organisation. If you can’t find any, then remember the simple formula. If you take something and place it with something else and what they create together is useful, then you have innovated.