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When the New Year begins, we always talk about what we can do to improve our lives. Whether it’s getting back in shape or becoming smarter with our spending, it’s a good time to hit the “refresh” button.
It’s also a time to Insist on Innovation within the workplace. When I think of what innovation means, this quote from Steve Jobs comes to mind.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Steve Jobs
In our personal lives, within our family and of course at work it is our responsibility to innovate and improve our relationships, our environments and ourselves.
Only when we are willing to change things, or as I like to see it, innovate our ways of life, can things be made better, more efficient, more productive and more sustainable.
Within our workplace there are numerous things we can look to for innovation. Let’s begin…
Collaboration = InnovationWorking with others is another way to foster innovation. Create “collaboration centers” within your office. Whether it’s an area with a few chairs and a coffee table in an open area of your office, or multiple private conference rooms, surround yourself with different spaces for inspiration.
You might remember when I compared entrepreneurial spirit to earning a Jedi Master Badge (and how appropriate to bring back this analogy, considering how successful The Force Awakens was in theaters over the holidays.) I mentioned how important it is to get involved in the community. Other small businesses or charitable organizations in your town may foster their own innovative ideas that help the whole community. I encourage you to work with those on your chamber of commerce, and other local organizations to create a community of innovation.
Have Passion for Your WorkI’m lucky to say that I love what I do. I can find innovation in most of my day-to-day activities. There are some things with my job that I can do with my eyes shut, while there are some that I am working to improve on. I always like to remind myself of what my favorite aspects of my job are when things don’t go as planned. This allows me to think with a clear head about what to do next.
When hiring new employees, see if they truly have a passion for what they can bring to the table. If they have a passion for what they do, there’s a chance that they might bring out the best in your team. Or, they simply might be the creative type that can come up with innovative ideas on the spot. You should look for a variety of personalities that cannot only work well together, but also breathe life into older processes and strategies.
Start with updating your office furniture. If you’ve been on our Facebook page, you might have seen some of the new office furniture we’ve installed. Note the image above and how the desk is parallel to the window. Our brains thrive on natural lighting, so incorporate it whenever possible. For other spaces that don’t have as much natural light, we added LED Lamps to each desk, such as this one:
Safco’s energy efficient LED lamp has a USB port in its base to charge your devices. The flexibility allows you to swivels the lamp anyway you need to add lighting to your workstation.
Even our conference room is now innovation friendly. We installed a table that has plugs for devices right in the middle of the table. Good ideas stem from providing the right tools to get the job done.
Surround Yourself With Innovative ProductsTools, gadgets and products…oh my! We are constantly seeking out the latest technology, the most innovative products to make our life easier and the best tools to get the job done. This holds true even more so in the workplace. Here, efficiency and productivity are the names of the game. Every year, office products reinvent themselves. Yes, we will always rely on Post-it notes and highlighters, but there is a whole world of new innovative products out there. Here are a couple of my favorites from this year and to find our entire list, click here.
Enjoy this ultra-portable keyboard with any Bluetooth enabled tablet or smartphone. It also has a durable fabric skin to ward off dirt, crumbs, or spills.
If you have a New Year’s Resolution to stay healthy, Victor’s high-rise monitor stand will aid you by standing by your desk and goals! It also has a spacious wooden work surface that provides room for accessories.
The best part about innovation is when your ideas blossom into tangible projects. Write down some of your innovative ideas in a notebook, whether it’s for work or for your personal life. When you get stuck, reference some of your ideas. This can help breathe inspiration and innovation into all of your surroundings.