Tips for Becoming a More Innovative Manager
Innovation is key to progress. It sparks new ideas that can streamline how you work and help your company save money. In addition, it can lead to the development of new products and services that enable your company to grow its market share and increase its revenue.
On an individual level, innovation can keep you engaged in your job so that you perform better. What’s more: When your supervisor recognizes that you promote innovation, it can help you advance your career.
So how exactly can you become a more innovative manager? Keep the following tips in mind:
- Keep learning on a wide variety of topics. In her article “5 Ways Successful People Become More Innovative Every Day” for The Muse, Erin Greenwald advises that continuous learning about many different things is key to inspiration. So, make sure to spend some time each day opening your mind to new information in a range of different disciplines.
- Challenge how things are normally done. Oftentimes, things are done a certain way in a company for a long period of time. Processes and procedures become part of the company culture. However, they might become outdated or even irrelevant over time. By challenging the status quo, you’re opening yourself up to new possibilities that could lead to improvements.
- Ask your employees for input. Gathering ideas from other people can be a great stimulus for creativity. Others come from different backgrounds and have different experiences, so they might offer information that sparks creativity — and you can build it out from there. For example, maybe an employee feels that a specific process is too cumbersome and has too many steps. You could determine where steps could be eliminated to streamline the process, resulting in less work for your employees and enabling you to make better use of your resources.
- Look at things from a different viewpoint. Most of us approach a challenge from a particular point of view — but if you can train yourself to use multiple points of view, you can come up with more creative solutions. To do this, ask yourself how other people — for example a customer, your supervisor or your mentor — would approach the challenge. You can even write down what you think their reactions would be and select parts from each that lead to a unique solution.
- Embrace failure. The Forbes article titled “What Can Your Organization Do to Become More Innovative?” advises that anxiety about being wrong is detrimental to creativity. Allow yourself to make mistakes — within reason — but be sure to analyze those mistakes afterwards and learn from them.
It might take some time and dedication to put these tips into practice. But when you consistently apply them, you’ll soon see that new ideas emerge — ideas that you can leverage to help yourself, your team and your company advance.