Why should you step out of your comfort zone? After all, there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable. But usually, to innovate, to change or to grow you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone. Even for creative types like me, it’s not always easy to try something new. It involves risk and triggers fear of failure. Innovative companies know that part of innovating is experimentation. In order to be a truly innovative organization you should have a company culture that supports experimentation, play, open discussion and using trial and error, without judging the error to harshly. When I work with clients to help them harness their creative abilities, I share a concept I call ROInspiration®. It’s a way of re-framing ROI so that you can justify pursuing creativity and problem solving in an open ended way. That’s the only way to change, improve and grow your team.
One of my favorite Einstein quotes is, “If at first the idea is not absurd then there is no hope for it”. In other words, the first thing you should do when trying solve a problem is to step out of your comfort zone into that area in which no idea is too far out. Thomas Edison is famous for his many failures, before he found a way of making the light bulb work. He credits those failures with his ultimate success. So to support an innovative company culture, you need to allow people to follow their inspiration. That means your employees may be chasing ideas that don’t always pan out. But those ideas will lead to other ideas and eventually to innovative solutions or products.
How To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
- Creativity, problem solving and innovation demands risks. So remember, failure is not the falling down, but the staying down. As long as you get back up, you haven’t failed.
- Create a safe environment to brainstorm with employees and provide two rules.There’s no such thing as a bad idea AND everyone should contribute since there’s no such thing as a bad idea!
- Problem solving demands seeing some ideas flourish and some flounder. Don’t become so attached to an idea that you become jealous of it or protective. In order for an idea to become a solution or product, it has to live in your real world. Collaboration and development of ‘potential solutions’ leads to ‘workable solutions’.
Innovation is never guaranteed. But without experimentation, it’s guaranteed you will never achieve innovation.