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Tips: 9 Ways To Be More Creative

Posted: 01/26/2012 2:30 pm

Think about how much our world has changed over the past decade. Innovation has transformed the way we work, live, communicate, and play. The future promises even more change. Innovation might seem to be a force beyond our control, but it doesn't have to be, as I show in my book, "The Little Black Book of Innovation " [Harvard Business Review Press, $25.00]. Innovation - something different that has impact - is a discipline. It can be mastered; it can be managed. Decades of academic research and practical field work have highlighted simple steps that allow anyone to more reliably spot and seize opportunities for innovation.

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While innovation is more practical than many realize, it is still hard work. So it's always worth starting with a simple question: Is it time for innovation? Recent struggles from the U.S. Post Office and Eastman Kodak highlight a paradox of innovation: by the time it becomes clear that you need to change, it is too late to do what is necessary to change. That means starting early. Look for early signs that suggest a looming need for innovation. Run a scenario to assess what might happen if you don't change. Write a premortum - a letter to yourself from five years in the future explaining how you waited too long to innovate. Remember, once it becomes obvious you need to innovate, it's too late.

Flickr photo by radioedit
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