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Often, when we’re comfortably entrenched in our belief systems, habits, routines, and — yes, even our careers professional fields — we can find ourselves struggling, sooner or later, from a lack of ability to innovate and come up with novel approaches to problems.
While a mobile computer repair company, for example, may have a specific role to play which doesn’t vary much from day to day, a substantial shift in the technology being sold and purchased on the market will, invariably, require new and innovative approaches on the part of those doing the repairs.
Innovation is one of the most fundamental resources of any successful business over the long term, but it’s also a fairly opaque and intangible thing to deal with. You can’t quantify it and store it away for a rainy day. Instead, it’s something psychological that is linked intimately to your own thought processes.
Here are some ways you can change your thoughts to enhance innovation in your work and life.
Understand that your perception of the world constitutes a “false reality”
One of the fundamental points to understand before you can be reliably innovative — perhaps the most fundamental thing — is that your perception and experiences of the world section of and create a “false reality” which nonetheless seems completely real and objective to you.
This isn’t to say that your perceptions are “wrong” per se, or that your ideas are inherently dysfunctional, but that the true “reality” of the world is unknown and unknowable — because it’s beyond any single human’s mental capacity to know and understand everything that can be known and understood.
So, instead of perceiving the world “objectively” we perceive only parts of it and use those parts to create our worldviews, all the while, there’s still a huge ocean of the unknown, circling us day and night.
Realising this means we can begin to look for answers in areas we haven’t yet considered.
Realise that everyone has belief bubbles that are self-sustaining
In order to be innovative in business, you need to understand that both yourself — and everyone else — has belief “bubbles” that are self-sustaining. This happens both on an individual level, and also more broadly, through social, political, and cultural groups.
These belief bubbles are essentially closed off to ideas which radically challenge their basic structure, which in turn means that it can be very difficult to see things from completely new angles (even without accepting those new ideas), in order to consider innovative approaches going forward.
Knowing this gives you a leg up in managing your own beliefs and reacting to those of the people you meet.
Understand that stories affect the subconscious mind
When facts are presented to a person as pure datapoints or statistics, that person will tend to incorporate those facts into their existing belief structure.
Stories, however, have the power to introduce new ideas to a belief structure — or even to uproot it completely — from the subconscious level up.
There’s a reason why everyone thinks they’re too smart to fall for advertiser’s tricks, but still, go out and buy the product. It’s all about stories impacting the subconscious.
Seek out stories that allow you to contemplate things in a different light, and you may find you become more innovative automatically.
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