What do Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Sheryl Sandberg have in common? They are great innovators of our time. The question is, can anyone be an innovator or at least can we learn to be more innovative?
The good news is, we all have the capability to be innovative. Here are some simple ways to cultivate innovative skills in our daily lives.
1. Seize any opportunity to be innovative
Finding a solution to a common problem can be a starting point. Recently, 24-year-old product design student, Sarah Moi, researched on the challenges faced by those with just one hand and ended up bagging the James Dyson Award in Malaysia for “Eat. Easy”, her innovative product which helps physically challenged users such as amputees or those with temporary hand injuries to eat independently and effortlessly. Based on the article published in The Star, she chose to eat with one hand and was inspired to seize the opportunity to create such a device.
2. Curiosity is a good thing!
Curiosity actually fuels innovation. Sarah Moi was curious about how a person with one hand can perform daily tasks and the challenges they encounter. In fact, she was inspired by her own personal struggle of suffering from eczema that motivated her to research and reflect on new ideas for her winning invention.
3. Be in the company of other innovative individuals
It is widely known that as humans we tend to draw from the traits of at least five people we spend the most time with. This equally applies to innovative skills. Being surrounded by others with a penchant for innovation also helps us develop similar skills.
4. Keep going and don’t quit
A leading example in this regard is Thomas Edison. He experienced countless failed attempts in finding a way to make light bulbs and never gave up until he succeeded. Creating a groundbreaking innovation rarely occurs overnight, in fact it takes a long time to perfect!
Although some of us are more inclined to be innovators, the rest of us can learn to become more innovative by adopting the methods listed above.