Presented here are a few innovative techniques to increase productivity at work. These are being used in the workplace to enhance capabilities. It also fosters employee involvement and leads to the organic growth of the organizations. The root cause is innovation and entrepreneurship.
To be more productive, the old school ways are not enough. The current competition and fast-evolving market forces ask for more innovation in businesses. Each one us needs to push our limits to be more productive and this article suggests few of the creative ways to do the same.
Let’s begin discussing 5 of these tips that can help you be more productive at your workplace.
1. The “Yes, and…” technique of innovation and creativity.
Fastcompany suggests this in its article. The title of the article is “The Second City Way of Better Brainstorming.” The “Yes, and …” technique refers to what stand-up comedians do to take the kernel of an idea. They do through a sketch and make it pop.
Leonardo Da Vinci, the great artist and innovator used to tie a notebook around his waist. He used to write down ideas even if it was the most trivial or silly one. With “Yes, and…,” an improviser blurts out an idea and someone else in his or her team build on it.
We have handpicked only 5 extremely innovative ideas for enhanced workplace productivity. However, there are plenty of things that can be done immediately to find a considerable improvement in your productivity at the workplace and in general. These are beautifully presented in the infographic below. While these were published in 2018, a lot of the points are valid even in 2020 and beyond.
Image Courtesy- Medium
2. ‘Before Coffee, the ideas. After Coffee criticism’.
This was the mantra from Alex Osborn who phrased the word ‘brainstorming’.
Creating an environment is crucial in the workplace to foster brainstorming. Discussions over a cup of coffee follow to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
Once the initial idea has sprouted from within the ecosystem of the organization, it is followed by some critical analysis and discussion.
Coffee and brainstorming help immensely in executing a plan. A few strategists have gone a step further by bringing beer into the equation. However, the hypothesis is untested. Considering the work environment, coffee seems a good first step towards entrepreneurial ideas.
3. Biological prototypes for innovation and improved productivity
Back in the days, only a few job sectors would populate the industry. Soon entrepreneurs evolved. In an amicable environment, industries started expanding four-folds. Who would have thought a few decades ago about unconventional jobs? Jobs like Brand ambassador, technology and change evangelist, Innovation evangelist, mystery shopper, talent acquisition manager, life coach etc.
The landscape of almost all industries is changing. Especially in industries like IT, Pharmaceutical, Consulting, Financial services etc. These industries are riding high on innovation and entrepreneurship. These subtle changes, when watched through the lens of history can amaze us. The workplace has evolved enormously over the years. Evolution has a striking similarity to the evolution of the human race. Evolution is an ongoing process and Organizations are like organisms. Employees and resources (both tangible and intangible) act as organs, senses and limbs. As organisms have evolved over centuries, so have the organizations. The fittest have survived and the weaker ones have succumbed to pressure. The pressure of the outside world failing to evolve in a continuously changing environment.
A lot of companies use Biological prototypes to get an idea of an engineering solution. It is believed that Organisms are well optimized by evolution. Taking a cue from this, organizations develop ideas to fight situations. There are a lot of examples of how this process has helped innovation in the workplace. A famous example is of Cat’s eye reflectors which were invented by Percy Shaw in 1935 after studying the mechanism of cat eyes. He had found that cats had a system of reflecting cells. Cells are known as tapetum lucidum. It was capable of reflecting the tiniest bit of light.
More successful examples can be found on Wikipedia (Bionics). It is thus a good idea to think of our organization as an organism. We can then look for a solution on the basis of a prototype. Attaching a problem to an organism also has a fun angle. It gets people interested and attaching a metaphor to the problem helps to structure the ideas.
4. Random Input for innovation and entrepreneurship
It is useful when a fresh idea is required or new perspectives on a problem are needed. It is extremely useful in increasing productivity at work.
Random nouns are supplied by members which are then assimilated through brainstorming sessions. This is done to come up with an alternate view of the problem to arrive at a solution. It helps in shutting the mind or diverging the mind from the key issue for some time.
It is then possible to converge the mind back to the core issue and come up with an innovative solution. Random inputs also help in spinning off new ideas.
5. Thinking Hats
It is used mostly to increase team productivity but is also useful for increasing productivity on an individual level.
This playful act of innovation and entrepreneurship involves hats in various colours. Each colour is assigned an attribute like wisdom, truth, negativity, critique, rational, entrepreneur and so on. Beholder of the Hat of colour makes sincere efforts to perceive an issue or situation.
It is done according to the attribute assigned to the colour. Hats are then swapped to get a plethora of diverse recommendations. Six hats of innovation are common in the industry. Green represents creativity and unconventional thinking. White represents facts while red symbolizes emotions. Yellow signifies rationality while black is opposite to yellow. The blue hat is the entrepreneur to switch and change the route of discussion. One of the related articles explains in details these 6 Thinking hats for creative communication.
Here you go, some of the tips to increase productivity at work. The modes may vary but the real aim is to push our mental faculties to shift from equilibrium in order to come up with innovative ideas. Innovation and entrepreneurship at the workplace are to create an environment for continuous evolution and reshaping of the organisation. It is key to be ahead of the competition and to create a blue ocean for ourselves. May it be human beings or organisations, Darwin’s theory on ‘Survival of the fittest’ still seems to be in force.