How to Innovate

How to InnovateInnovate is often a scary word that you associate with genius intellect and learning the how-to of innovation becomes terrifying to some people. The good news is that there are no requirements for you to ‘innovate’ the world. The basic definition of innovation is to “create something new”. That’s it. This doesn’t require a PhD or that you graduated college at the age of 18. You don’t even have to finish school in order to innovate in the world. However, don’t drop out of school if you do launch “the next big thing”. It’s important to finish what you started.

Do not get hung up on the idea that in order to understand the how-to of innovation you will need to produce something that no one in the world has ever thought of.

In all honesty, it cannot be done. Look at all of the books ever written or movies ever made. The original idea was produced only once and people have been recreating the same scenarios over and over in different cultures, time periods and simply from a different point of view. Even the Wright Brothers took their cues from the birds that they spent hours watching in order to replicate their ability to fly. The idea of innovation is often to build a better or more modern version of something that is already in existence. The question still remains; how does the average person innovate in their world?

  1. Ask lots of questions. If no one asked questions then nothing would ever change.
    Is there a more efficient way to do something? The inventors of the dishwasher, washing machine and microwave should inspire you.
  2. Why is it done this way and not another?
  3. Does everyone around the world do it this way?
  4. Was it always done this way? Advances in technology often mean that your idea changes each decade.
  5. Who started it and why?
  6. Did they have time or resource limitations that influenced their design?
  7. That is the biggest problem my associate, friends, family and I have with the current design or structure?

When considering the how-to of innovation don’t forget to look at things from different perspectives. An example is if a certain item has always worked for your mother in the kitchen but has become cumbersome now, what do you see as a solution? If something isn’t working then examine why and how it could be altered to work better. Your first idea may not work. In this case it is a matter of hard work and determination. Try something else and if that doesn’t work then re-evaluate and try again. The important thing is to go with your intuition and keep moving forward.