Do you struggle with balancing your day-to-day work with coming up with new and innovative ideas? What if I told you there is a simple solution that doesn't cost anything?
Schedule time for it. Put it in your diary.
"But Bruno, my schedule is full! These back-to-back meetings are business critical! The business will collapse if I don't oversee every minute detail!"
Calm down, I'm not telling you to schedule 4-hour blocks or week-long retreats. Starting small is perfectly fine, and here is why.
Innovation is a marathon, not a sprint. You can't force great ideas. Therefore, developing a daily habit should be your first priority.
Here are twenty things you could do that take less than 10 minutes:
- Write down your idea.
- Think about what has to be true for the idea to work as intended.
- Think about some innovation you found cool. Write what and why.
- Write a pitch for something you wish you had right now.
- Draw an ideal version of your product or service.
- Speak with a customer. Email, chat, phone, whatever channel. Focus on understanding what are they trying to achieve with your product or service.
- Read customer complaints.
- Read forum where your customers hang out.
- Read five pages of that thing that's been dying for your attention for the past six months.
- Draw and/or write your idea. Crumple the paper, rip it apart, and throw it into garbage bin.
- Share your idea with a peer. Ask them to explain your idea back to you.
- Read one of my posts.
- Take a walk through the workplace. Try really hard to notice things you've never noticed before. Write down your observations.
- Think of a competitor who outperforms you in some segment. Deconstruct their flagship product. How does it fit into their business model? How about yours?
- Draw the flow of value in your organisation. Where is the customer?
- Go where the value is created. Sit and observe in silence. Take notes.
- Open your calendar and schedule 10 minutes every-day for the next four weeks. "No, this isn't my flexible time."
- Write down all the reasons your idea won't work.
- Imagine the future. Use all your senses. How does it sound like? Taste? Smell? Look? Feel?
- Play the devil's advocate for a successful idea, invention, or innovation you don't like.
I wrote above list in 180 seconds. I'm sure you could add twenty more. Open your calendar, and get to it.
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