• Forget the resolutions – bring on the innovation.

Forget the resolutions – bring on the innovation.

You’ve heard plenty of tips on how to kick off a great start to the new year. But instead of making a slew of resolutions that often come with setting limits or boundaries, bring in 2019 with out-of-the-box thinking and limitless possibilities.

Make room for innovation

There’s a place for creative thinking and innovation in everyone’s day regardless of job title, despite what our preconceived ideas around the word “creativity” might be. Being inventive, imaginative or unconventional is often how great ideas are born; taking time to approach things differently is never a waste of time.

Innovation isn’t just for researchers or tech gurus; new ideas influence every field of business and can come from anyone. In fact, Xerox owes its start to a single inventor working on weekends in his small apartment with only a vision of what would become the first xerograph. Eighty years later, we still know brilliant ideas don’t just appear randomly; it takes practice, embracing a new way of looking at things, and a few new habits.

Creative approaches to being creative

Infusing work with creativity and innovative planning can help SMBs become more competitive and primed for new opportunities. So, break away from your desk and break out your colored markers, it’s time to build innovation into your small business routine:

people riding bikes

Let’s get physical – Start by experiencing the world around you in a new way: get out of the office, talk a walk, and make mental notes of things that capture your attention. Consider taking or making meetings standing up; changing your desk configuration or, if you’re part of larger team, creating a room with no tables or chairs, just comfy pillows or exercise balls. You might even consider taking a different route to work (or riding your bike!). More ideas come from taking a shower or daydreaming under a tree than ever came from staring at your PC.

person holding photo

Bring inspiration to life – All of those things that captured your attention? Bring an element of them into your work space: a piece of nature, a thought-provoking ad, or a splash of color that made you open your eyes; whatever it is, create space to display it near you. Spark your imagination first thing in the morning with a favorite song, an engaging podcast or a blog post that interests you.

woman with laptop

Think differently – How many things do you do during your day without even thinking? Stop and make a list of all the tasks done on autopilot and imagine how you can do them differently. Then try them one at a time and notice if they made the job easier, more engaging, or inspired other changes.

guy writing on wall

Don’t rely on the old stand-bys – Try making some of your work day defaults off limits – as counter-intuitive as that sounds. We often use the same resources or rules to get things done; this approach makes finding new ways mandatory. For example, if you use the same research sites, start exploring new sources; when brainstorming, focus on the needs of your secondary market; and when it comes to communications, use new language instead of the same old buzzwords.

employees around laptop

Start small – Game-changing ideas and innovations in small business don’t have to be big to make a difference. Switch up how (or where) you hold a meeting or write a report and the impact can have a ripple effect. And remember to welcome all inspiration; every ground-breaking idea was new at one time – and maybe even a little crazy. And remember, tap into others for inspiration, especially your customers; listen to their feedback and ideas – they may even have some great ones.

churchill statue

WWMHD? (What Would My Hero Do?) – If inspiration is slow to come, reach out to your favorite heroes for a novel approach. They don’t even have to be creative people, just individuals you admire that might bring their particular insight to a challenge. Reflecting upon Amelia Earhart’s courage and no-such-thing-as-quitting attitude or Winston Churchill’s leadership may be just the spark you need.

The engineers at Xerox believe the best ideas come from looking at the world through different perspectives. They hold “dreaming sessions” and involve customers to help them change their points of view. One result of these sessions is the Xerox® ConnectKey® user interface that responds to users desire for a smartphone-like app interface and a host of easy, helpful apps.

What innovation can do for small business

Breathing fresh new ideas into the life blood of small and medium business can keep them more competitive and ready for new opportunities as they appear.

When you innovate and keep tabs on the latest innovative trends, your business experiences a watershed of positive outcomes. Work spaces that create an environment where fresh thinking is cultivated inevitably see an increase in productivity (and profitability). Greater productivity often leads to becoming more competitive since you’re able to satisfy more customers. Find out what innovative ideas Xerox is working on every day.

One thing is for certain, new ideas and the latest hot products are going to materialize; whether they belong to you or your competition is up to you.

Visit our small business tips for insight on how to make profitable and productive business decisions.

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