Stop what you’re doing right now – Innovation on the fly

Stop what you’re doing right now – Innovation on the fly

Innovating on the fly is a challenge. However, as your industry ebbs and flows, the need for you to respond to those subtle or major shifts is becoming more and more of a necessity.

Easier said that done I know. But why? It’s normally because the word ‘innovation’ often throws up images of expensive consultants, off site retreats or caffeine fueled round tables that we never have enough time for. So instead of looking at innovation as a one off task, view it as a work in progress and a natural part of your companies work flow.

“STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW AND THINK ABOUT HOW YOU CAN DO IT DIFFERENTLY”

We are creatures of comfort, and that’s not just relative to our personal existence but that of our business and professional lives. Once we’ve found a way to do something, we stick to it, become better at it and a few of us might tweak it a little. Most of us are happy with that and even though fundamentally there’s nothing wrong with it; staying within your comfort zone doesn’t foster the environment required for innovation.

Let’s take the office meeting for example. You sit around a table with coffee, tea and a cream cake if you’re lucky. You fiddle with your mobile, think about last night or the end of day and try to look like you’re listening. The meeting takes far too long and some of us talk too much without really getting to the point (not me of course).

Take STAND UP meetings for example. Now sweeping the Agile software development offices globally (and many non) this method of team meetings described by our favourite encyclopedia:

A stand-up meeting (or simply “stand-up”) is a daily team meeting held to provide a status update to the team members. The ‘semi-real-time’ status allows participants to know about potential challenges as well as coordinate efforts to resolve difficult and/or time-consuming issues. It has particular value in Agile software development processes,such as Scrum, but can be utilised in any development methodology. The term “stand-up” derives from the practise of having the attendees stand at the meeting, as the discomfort of standing for long periods helps to keep the meetings short.

The meetings are usually time boxed to 5–15 minutes and are held standing up to remind people to keep the meeting short and to the point.Most peopleusually refer to this meeting as just the stand-up, although it is sometimes also referred to as the “morning roll call” or the “daily scrum”.

The meeting is usually held at the same time and place every working day. All team members are encouraged to attend, but the meetings are not postponed if some of the team members are not present. One of the crucial features is that the meeting is intended to be a communication vehicle for team members and not a status update to the management or other stakeholders. Although it is sometimes regarded to as a type of status meeting, the structure of the meeting is meant to promote follow-up conversation, as well as identify issues before they become problematic. The practice also promotes closer working relationships in its frequency, need for follow-up conversations and short structure, which in turn result in a higher rate of knowledge transfer – a much more active intention than the typical status meeting. Team members take turns speaking, sometimes passing along a token to indicate the current person allowed to speak. Each member talks about progress since the last stand-up, the anticipated work until the next stand-up and any impediments, taking the opportunity to ask for help.

Team members may sometimes ask for short clarifications and brief statements, such as “Let’s talk about this more after the meeting,” but the stand-up does not usually consist of full fledged discussions.

So what’s the point here. Well you can take something, anything, do it completely differently and squeeze more, time, efficiency, productivity and ultimately profit into your day.

I’ll leave you with:

Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”— Theodore Levitt

“Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form.”— Watts Humprey

“The innovation point is the pivotal moment when talented and motivated people seek the opportunity to act on their ideas and dreams.”— W. Arthur Porter

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