Have you had your eureka moment?
Successful businesses have one thing in common – they began as great ideas. Some were so simple making people wonder why they hadn’t thought of it themselves and others so profound leaving people in awe of how the idea was conceived.
Fabulous ideas don’t always come easy. In fact, many people wonder how the inspiration is conceived, and better yet how to replicate that inspiration of innovation. What’s the secret? The next big idea is out there … so how do you spot it?
Ideas often stem from a problem that needs to be solved. Sometimes it’s one of your own problems, and other times it’s someone else’s. Look around and identify issues or inefficiencies that are visible. Think about how they would work in an ‘ideal world’ and what you would need to do to make that happen. Brainstorm and jot down all these ideas.
Look for trouble. What is irritating and annoying to people is potentially a goldmine idea that you want to explore. When you realize that frustrations are ideas in the making, you spark your creative side and allow for the fun to begin: innovation! Questioning everything you do will help you to recognize where improvements can be made.
Listen first, stop talking
Learn to listen. Listening to understand, not just waiting for your turn in the conversation, is crucial. This is your opportunity to learn and grow. Find out what people want and need, and most importantly find out why. If you’re not listening and understanding why, chances are you’re never going to come up with a solution to their problems. It’s important to listen to:
- Your customers – they’ll tell you what you need to improve and what you need to innovate
- Your employees – they’ll give you feedback related to improvements to your business processes
- Your competitors – what they’re doing/saying can form future strategic decisions on innovation
Collaborate to innovate
Tap into the ideas and expertise of all your coworkers. Your company has countless combinations of thinking and behaviour as well as other traditional elements of diversity such as age, gender and experience. Collaborating to create better ideas allows you to use these differences to learn and grow from one another.
Staying competitive in today’s fast-paced world means that organizations must foster a culture of innovation from within.
Breathe life into your idea
When you have a great idea on your hands you can feel it. It keeps you up at night and gets you out of bed in the morning. But without proper execution, your idea has zero value. Learn more about the real value of innovation and find out how Microsoft Services can help you innovate.
Listen here to learn more on how ideas play an important role in every innovation program.