Reinventing Innovation

By, 09/14/2012

Innovation’s importance is regularly stressed in career development discussions for many reasons. A recent article in Time highlighted one of them: “Do not punish failures; instead, celebrate the learning that comes from trying.” This lesson applies to almost everything, but unfortunately can be overlooked in work-situations, as many folks avoid innovation for fear of failure. Innovation is often, and incorrectly in my view, solely defined as a new idea that succeeded. But innovation is about finding what works best by trying new things, and that often includes a lot of failure. (Which is a good thing, because people learn from mistakes.)

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. Though bigger forms of innovation are more talked about, it can also be as simple as questioning an outdated system to see how it can be improved. Not only can a smaller modification sometimes be effective, it’s an example of innovative thinking you can practice every day. The more you practice (and even fail), the more you’ll successfully think outside the box, and that’s a skillset invaluable in any career.