We had so much fun chatting with Tiziana Bianco, Asia-Pacific Director of Customer Success, Strategy and Innovation at Adobe on how to foster an innovative mindset in this month’s Masterclass Online. Whether you’re an employee, a business owner or a leader, here are some of our favourite take-outs to help you think big.
1. The first thing you should do to start thinking innovatively is to throw out everything you know to be true.
Be a respectful agitator of the status quo. Breaking down moulds can look like, “What if I don’t need a banking license to operate my business?” Try new things with ‘scenario plans’ instead of fixed business plans: identify economy, society or technology trends that’d affect your business as well as critical uncertainties, develop a range of plausible scenarios, then discuss implications before projecting plans forward.
2. If you’re a leader, help make the workplace a place for testing and exploration.
When giving team members tasks, don’t always expect answers straight away. Give them a bit of time to think, and then have them come back to you. It’s about taking on the role of testing, as opposed to executing and doing.
3. Don’t pretend to know all the answers …
… because nothing exciting starts from knowing everything. If you have all the answers, you’re not asking yourself enough bold questions. So really take on the mentality of a lifetime learner.
4. Slow down, before speeding up.
You’d almost feel guilty to, as today’s culture typically demands efficiency and productivity, but it’s important to give yourself time to explore options before execution. Tiziana claims it’s cheaper and more effective too, rather than jumping in thinking you have all the answers. Plus, it’s more fun!
5. When afraid to pursue ideas, embrace vulnerability.
Ask yourself, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ Evaluate it. Know that you’re going to come out a better person and that until you test yourself, you’re not growing. Start small, and slow. And look to your trusted groups for feedback.
6. Make time for innovation.
Google famously have their employees spending 20% of their time doing something completely different from their normal job, working on side hustles or passion projects. How might this look in your world? Tiziana has ‘No Meetings Mondays’ that give her thinking time and the chance to work on the business, not in the business.
7. Talk to and meet as many people as possible.
Even if they don’t appear to have a direct relation to what you do, a quick 15-30 minute phone call or coffee could have a connection with something later on in your life. Creativity is about connecting dots, and you’ll need a diverse range of dots to connect them.
8. Gather a diverse, trusted Board of Directors… for yourself.
To innovate, you need completely different perspectives and take on some good criticism. Who’s someone you can go to, whose honest opinions you value? It might be a team member, a friend or family member, or even a supplier or competitor. They, too, would respect what you have to say and genuinely want you to succeed.
Up next on October 10, tune into our Masterclass Online with Lisa Barber on ‘How to set yourself up for financial success’. Lisa’s an award-winning financial services master and wealth coach with over 20 years of professional experience. Our monthly Masterclass Online is FREE for Premium members and only $14.95 for non-members. To see our full Masterclass Online schedule, visit here.