When we dream about innovation, we think of grand new ideas that catapult us into the future. We dream of flying cars and robots from the Jetsons or transporters from Star Trek. Something completely new.
Innovation, though, isn't about new so much as it's about different. And different doesn't mean it has to come out of nowhere.
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Innovation is about connecting the dots to come up with something new. It's about drawing parallels between things that don't seem related or mashing ideas together head on like the particles in the Hadron Collider.
Every day we go to work, we have a chance to innovate. But instead, as often happens in our lives, we're content to execute. We're too "stressed" or too "busy" to do anything else. Yet that's the most important work we can do—put our creativity in action.
Related: How to Be More Creative
Innovation doesn't mean new products, either. It can be new ways to bring a product to market, to engage a community, to build a delightful experience. Experiment with ways to increase product retention or with social media contests or with button copy on the website. That counts as innovation, no flying cars required.