#1 of 10 ways to build a culture of innovation and creativity

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Earlier this year I wrote a post called Here Are 10 Things You Can Do to Foster a Culture of Innovation and Creativity… Now that we are emerging from the recession (apparently), how fast we grow as businesses and an economy will largely be driven by how innovative and creative our businesses are in the face of challenges and uncertainties we face.

In the previous post I listed 10 things that I believe are essential practices in creating an innovative and creative business culture. What I would like to do over the next few weeks is to take each point and expand on it so that we can develop a set of practical tips and strategies that we, as businesses, can start to implement so we can start developing our own cultures and drive our creativity and innovation forward.

The first point was:

  1. Live with many possibilities. Every problem has many possible solutions. Believe in the idea that you and your team can find a better way to do anything you put your minds to…….and you will.

We face countless problems and questions in business every day and often we ‘know’ the answer as that is the way that we have always done it. However, that does not always guarantee that we have the best answer or best solution for our particular issue.

Here’s my theory: We can find alternative solutions if we take the effort to look for them.

Whether the problem is in finance, marketing, sales, customer service, administration, management, strategy or leadership I think there is merit in pausing on a regular basis to consider or to ask the following question:

If I was faced with that situation again what would be 3 alternative solutions to that problem?

At this point, you may scoff and say that that sounds like a waste of time. And it may be. And there may not be 3 credible, alternative solutions.

BUT, I believe, the merit is not just in the alternative solutions that we can come up with but it is in the very fact that we are pushing ourselves to think of credible alternatives and three of them too. Remember it’s about ‘Live with many possibilities’. Only when we start to allow ourselves to be curious about the status quo that we can we can start to question how we do things and whether there is a better way.

Can you think of any area where you have encountered a problem in the last day or two? Can you then think of 3 alternative solutions to overcome the problem?

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