What exactly does innovation mean? The definition of innovation is the introduction of something new; a new idea, product, method, process. Have you ever thought of yourself of innovative?
No? Me either.
Want to know why? Being innovative takes courage. It means stepping out of the comfort zone.
In 2016, cyclist Michael Guerra was being passed by his competition. He was falling behind. He could have continued to follow behind them and try conventional methods to catch up. Guerra tried something unconventional and innovative. It was even risky, but it paid off as he zoomed past the competition.
Innovation can happen in all aspects of life. It’s simply doing something new and different instead of always doing things the same way. With change, comes growth.
Innovation Killer #1
“This is how we’ve always done it.” This is a phrase heard in workplaces and homes. When someone comes in a offers a new idea of how to do something different, people will often react negatively to the idea of change.
This is for many reasons. The idea is new, not their own and the results are unknown. What if it doesn’t work? I like how we’ve been doing things. I’m USED to how things work.
This mindset doesn’t allow for growth. Maybe there is a better way to wash dishes, grocery shop or menu plan. Perhaps there are new ways to work your direct sales business or your 9-5 job.
I am guilty of this is in a big way. It’s easy to do what you are used to. It’s familiar and you already know the outcome. You are in a routine.
But allowing innovation will help you grow. Not every new idea works, but you can grow from the experience. It’s what you take away from the learning experience.
Innovation Killer #2
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant or the scared. It’s an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms.
Complacency is self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. Which means we are happy with how things are but blind to problems. Again, we are in the comfort zone. Do you know a couple that should have split up years ago? They clearly are unhappy together, but continue to stick it out? Often this is due to staying in a familiar, “safe” situation. Leaving an unhappy relationship means lots of changes and discomfort. Instead, they remain complacent.
Where in your life are you being complacent? Are there things that you are actively ignoring because you don’t want to deal with them? How could addressing those issues positively impact your life?
You may find that the short time of discomfort is far outweighed by the benefits of the change. Is your business doing just enough? How can you change things up to improve it?
Friend Zoning the Comfort Zone
Are you in a serious relationship with your comfort zone? It’s time to move on and put the comfort zone in the friend zone. Sure, it’s cool to hang out in your comfort zone, but it’s time to get comfortable being UNcomfortable.
If you want growth in any part of your life, you have to try new things and embrace new ideas. Trust me, I am preaching to myself. As someone diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, doing things or having things the same way is a large part of my disorder. But I have also learned that even if the new strategy or idea doesn’t work, I can learn something from it. It can even spark other ideas that will work.
How to avoid killing innovation
- Be willing to try new ideas.
- Embrace other people’s opinions and ideas.
- When something new is brought to you, take a few minutes before you respond. Often our initial response is defensive and takes away our ability to be more accepting.
- Make a conscious effort to try new ideas, strategies, products, etc once a week.
- Journal what you learned from your experiences
Where in your life do you struggle with allowing innovation? Comment below!