The human mind is wired to ensure survival and there is great comfort to be in a zone where most things are familiar and operate with certainty, and in the pattern. This is really good for mechanical requirements, data based tasks and where numbers matter. But with subjective creatures like human beings, what will appeals to them is a question that defies any clear answer.
In today's times, innovation is at the forefront, a driving force that can ensure an organisation being at the top of its game. What the companies have them staring in the face, is a complex flux - not only of data, but of people in general - actions that are as whimsical and different from one another in choice, tastes and preferences as can be. So what would it take to reach their mind space and grab attention?
Innovation is the one important aspect and here are some ways of fuelling it:
1. Abandon compartmentalisation: Too many rigid structures and belief systems interfere with adaptation. The brain needs to follow a more fluid way of thinking that focuses on the road ahead, rather than periodically keep stopping to gauge and compare with past methods. Sure, this could be a Plan B...but there is absolute and dire requirement of ideas and innovations that are unfazed by history. Welcome and nurture the mavericks on your team.
2. Apply "doing differently" to everyday, routine activities: Human beings are creatures of habit and mundane personal habits have an insidious way of trickling into the way, professional assignments are handled too. So if one is habituated to brushing teeth with the right hand, try left for a week; if perforce you visit certain sections while grocery shopping first, visit them last for some time; try reading a different author or on a different discipline that would not be a normal choice! These and many more things done differently, challenge your brain to build new neural pathways and recreate more possibilities - it can fuel innovation in a great way as now, the brain begins to believe that things are possible in many different ways.
3. Get interested and explore: Of course, what one is doing is great and maybe the most exciting thing right now, but sustaining excitement and success require that the "refresh" button must be hit with adequate stimulation and often. One must look at the innovations - product, design, service, process etc. in several areas and in diverse industries - who knows which one may trigger a take off - a real gold-nugget-of-an-idea. Just because it isn't a related industry doesn't mean it won't work or couldn't serve the purpose. Recently one of the most impressive exhibitors at Gems and Jewellery Show was that of a 3-D printing technology company that has almost revolutionary design ideas for creating unparalleled finesse and detailing for the jewellery industry.
4. Inclusion of diversity: This one is just not for an image-building exercise when it comes to innovation - the whole idea is to have a multitude of windows through which an organisation can gain different perspectives! A Millennial maybe a research subject by oneself, but can bring insights of the entire generation; the old school individual may be quite set in ways, but no one plays devil's advocate better than him/ her and is absolutely essential to shoot down potential wrecking-ball ideas before implementation and of course their experience is priceless. The physically challenged one may bring in a unique brand of can-do attitude and display how one could push across despite limitations. Don't be afraid to hire a new mother - these women are generally masters of time management and there can be lots to learn, if you understand their rhythm. Inclusion is the prerequisite of innovation.
5. Discipline and direction: It can be extremely amazing and probably a dream job like situation if one gets to work for an organisation that is constantly innovating. However, in the same breath it must be mentioned that clarity of objective and a clear goal must lie ahead before the chaos is encouraged. Chaos most certainly, is vital as is visible from the environment around us. Chaos - just like a bazillion atoms at the heart of an organism, for instance an apple or a pomegranate, holding it together under mysterious guidance to maintain pattern, to create a simple object; encouraging chaos is at the core of creating the most valuable and simplified solutions.