It’s easy to glamorize Silicon Valley culture: team meetings held on Segways, plush brainstorming pods, internal ʺskunk worksʺ to develop new ideas. But, as you know, not every company has opportunities for innovation baked in—in fact, many do not. So if you want to be disruptive and add value at a company where innovation is less, well, valued, you need to start asking questions.
Questions like, ʺWhat problems exist here and what creative solutions can I come up with to solve them?ʺ ʺWhat’s the one idea that no one is thinking about but if they did, it would transform the business?ʺ By venturing to answer these questions, you are already wearing your innovator cap.
The last thing you want for your career (not to mention your sanity) is to get stuck in the same old routine because there’s no desire to change the ʺthat’s how we’ve always done itʺ approach. Here are a few ideas for thinking differently in whatever role you’re in now.