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Tips on How to be Innovative

Tips on How to be Innovative

Tips on How to be Innovative

Being innovative is not just about inventing, it also means learning to think about problems in different ways. Here are our top tips to develop your innovative techniques:

1. Learn to draw: It often helps to be able to express yourself with a pencil.

2. Think in associative chains. Sometimes, it is very fruitful to allow your mind to wander. Idea A leads to idea B; which leads to idea C; which leads you to a solution to your problems.

3. Use the success formula: Formally use the success formula to evolve new solutions.

Purpose, Plan action feedback change.

A perfect solution rarely occurs to you. You will probably have to evolve a solution by reiterating the success formula cycle.

4. Ask yourself, what other things are like this?

Use analogy and metaphor. For example: Petrol is like sugar. It is made of the same elements (Hydrogen carbon and oxygen). So, could we burn sugar in our cars?

5. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Ask yourself "How else could the same result be gained, by a using a different method?"

Thomas Edison said, "I always assume that there is a better way. Then I try to find it".

6. Ask yourself? What are we assuming in this situation, that isn't necessarily true? What if.....What you thought was "a problem", were actually "an opportunity"?

Sir William Perkin is known for his accidental discovery in 1853, of the first commercial dye: the purple mauveine. Perkin was not trying to make dyes. He was trying to synthesis an artificial version of quinine for the treatment of malaria. But he failed completely and instead, he accidentally made a dark, sticky goo that stained his lab coat. When he tried to wash it off, with alcohol, the stain turned a beautiful shade of purple which would not wash out. Rather than be annoyed, Perkins immediately saw that he had the seed of new idea: and he went onto create the synthetic dye industry. He became a millionaire by the age of 20 years.

You may think he was lucky, but remember that his accidental discovery, relied on him having the kind of mind that can see a failure as a form of success.

7. Have other people faced similar situations and if so, how did they solve it?

Let us assume that our problem is like other problems that have been solved before, by other people. How did they do it? What can we learn from similar situations.

8. In some form; does our problem occur in nature, and if yes, how has Mother nature solved it? Let us use mother nature for inspiration.

9. Read all you can on a wide variety of topics.

The more information you have encoded in your brain, the more combinations your imagination can create.

10. Ask people who know nothing about the topic, for their uninformed opinion.

You may be surprised that they may come up with a solution that you did not think of. Ask an 8-10 year old child. Kids see things straight. They are not distracted weird theories.

11. Sleep on it.

Let your subconscious mind have a stab at it.

12. Carry a notebook with you.

Always carry a notebook and pen so that you can record your occasional flashes of genius. Sometimes inspiration comes at inopportune times.

13. Use humour to make up joke-solutions, in the hope that, what begins as a silly joke is the seed of an innovative solution.

Have you heard about the guy who made a billion squid out of Sponge Bob Square Pants? Sponge Bob Square Pants has grown into a nearly $8 billion-dollar-a year product. And that is no joke; that is a serious amount of success!

14. Never give up. Be persistent. Achieving the impossible may take you some time.

15. Assume that answer does exist; so, keep your mind open and expect success.

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About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Decision Making and Problem Solving

  • How Rational Thinking is the Key to Success
    Logic is our primary tool in understanding how to act to survive, make progress and succeed. By identifying and eliminating contradictions we can act according to the principles of reason. Be clear, be rational, be positive.
    Read Article >
  • Be a Straight Thinker
    Being able to think straight is an asset in life. We know this means making rational decisions, but what exactly does that mean in reality? You need to learn to be a critical thinker and here are four things to remember to get your thinking straight.
    Read Article >
  • How to Make a Good Decision
    You are faced with making decisions every day, and it is important to make the right one. We explore the different types of decisions you will face and some fantastic tools we have developed in order to help decision-making easier for you.
    Read Article >
  • Tips on How to be Innovative
    Your business needs to adapt and grow in today’s ever-changing economic climate. Being innovative is not just about inventing, it also means adapting your current business model and making changes to your working practices.
    Read Article >
  • Black and White Thinking
    Right or wrong? Real life problems are often too complex to apply black and white thinking to. Instead, try using another concept, the Law of Identity, on which to base your analysis and decision making.
    Read Article >

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