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Ask Lawrence: Why is it important to innovate?

02 Oct 13:00 By Lawrence Akers

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It’s hard to believe that at one point there, Windows was absolutely dominating Apple in the home computer department.

Almost like a Betamax vs VHS battle once again, both were excellent options but one seemed to have the edge over the other.

And then one day, Apple had a realisation that changed the direction of where they were going and the iPod was born.

Not only was it one sleek looking machine, it was trendsetting and everyone needed to have it.  When you consider where that one device has taken Apple since then, it was the piece of innovation they needed to make a difference.

I was recently speaking with a freelancer named Adam who was telling me that he hadn’t had a freelance job in months however this didn’t really matter too much as he was making good money from selling royalties to his fonts.

I had to tell him how impressed I was, taking what he already does and putting a spin on it that was making him money and allowing him to continue doing what he loved to do in a job market that felt non-existent.

Even at Creative Recruiters, we aim to be innovative in what we do.  Generally when a recession hits, most recruiters scurry and conversations with them seem few and far let alone actually being seen.

We decided that it was a great opportunity to step up and give back to the community.  We ran a series of virtual meetups over a period of months that focused not just on recruitment but also on mental health, creativity, and a range of other topics.

I’m not sharing this to blow our own trumpet, although I am absolutely proud of what we did there, but to give another example of how innovation can take something you already do and give it new value and purpose.

Even my old iPhone 5; I could’ve thrown it out but now I take something that others might’ve seen as old and broken, given it a twist, and now it is a dedicated recording device for my lapel microphone when I do training.  I just took what it already did well and gave it a new purpose.

In times like this where there is a lot of change, and much of it outside of our control, innovation is paramount to survival.  We ALL have skills that we can use.  We ALL have an idea of what ignites us and gives the work we do meaning and purpose.  Even the act of innovation will promote risk vs reward, stepping outside the comfort zone, and growth. My invitation to you is to consider what it is that you already do and if you’re finding people are not engaging with what you’ve done in the past, what can you do differently now that is going to get people on board?

Innovation is at the heart of most success stories.  What are you going to innovate today?