How would you feel if I said you can spend your days creating and improving rather than grinding out the same old stuff morning after morning? I’m guessing you’d be pretty chuffed with it – you may even have a list of things you’d like to do differently already. But how can you be more innovative?
But people feel that they can’t innovate at work for a number of reasons. Maybe you have an “old-fashioned” boss, or company culture doesn’t encourage it. Perhaps you just feel more comfortable “doing things how they’ve always been done” (eye roll!)
Sometimes it’s difficult to innovate, this is true. However, there are a few tricks that pretty much anybody can employ in order to flex their innovative brain-muscles. We’ve picked out 5 things that we do at Mòr, that people can do in their day-to-day work which will fuel innovation and enthusiasm.
1. Conduct Stand-Up Meetings
Just as your energy changes when you’re standing, so too does the energy of a meeting when the participants are on their feet. Get your employees/coworkers to stand, and the levels of creativity and motivation will skyrocket. At Mòr, we all grab a coffee and gather round a large table, giving everyone a chance to share opinions and get updates at the same time. Our meetings can get quite lively, but there’s definitely never a dull moment!
2. Get Inspired
In a world of bright lights and moving colours, it’s easy for our attention to wander. The Mòr office is full of pictures, quotes and even some strange plants that various colleagues have come across. When you encounter something that engages you, display it near your workstation (or ON your workstation, if Pinterest is the only option). Potential things could include a scene that you snapped whilst commuting, a newspaper advert, a logo that made you smile. Anything and anyone that gets you thinking should be near you. Listen to music, bring in a pet or buddy up with a colleague. Use each other as a sounding board for ideas and as motivation to gather momentum.
3. Think Small
Ideas don’t have to be game changers. In many cases, changing small but significant things is a more effective way to engender innovation within a company. These “mini-miracles” can range from how we recognise someone for a job well done to how we approach remote/flexible working. They have a direct impact on employees so they’ll grab attention from the start, but they’re also often cheap, quick and easy to roll out. Consider which small-scale things could change around the workplace – if you draw a blank, ask your colleagues/employees for ideas. Get everyone involved on the innovation-generation-operation…we have time to bring up ideas at each weekly meeting (stand-up, of course).
4. Bring It To Life
Stop talking – start building! Put your thoughts into words, into pictures, into prototypes. A visible idea is less forgettable and more likely to be taken seriously. This will increase the chances of people getting on-board involved in brainstorming, or developing etc. Even a bad drawing is better than no drawing, and here at Mòr, our boards and walls are full of project pictures. Some of these are worthy of recognition at the Tate, some are on post-its/napkins…most are somewhere in between.
5. Get Out More
Make a point of getting out of the office each day. You don’t have to train for a marathon – take a stroll around the local neighbourhood. Pay attention to what’s around you and keep an eye out for things that could make it onto your inspiration board. If discipline is lacking on your hunt, make a game of it.
At Mòr, we play Flamingo Bingo (so named after one of our guys found a plastic flamingo at the local park). Each week, we grab 25 random things from a list, and mark them off as we see them over the next few days. First one to complete their sheet wins a round of applause and a chance to tell the story of the most interesting discovery to the whole office.
You may have noticed that none of these things are particularly time-consuming or earth-shattering. However, combined, they encourage us to look at our surroundings and the wider world from a new perspective. And this ability to look for (and find) opportunities where others can’t is what innovation is really all about. As with most things, practice makes perfect. The more you exercise the innovative part of your brain, the more innovation will come naturally.