The source of business innovation is bred from business executives. However, their roles in a business structure present a conundrum.
Most business structure here stresses adherence to work flow and order which unfortunately, is not a conducive environment for innovation. In my view, if we want innovation to thrive in Singapore, business structure and individual mind-set have to evolve to embrace new ideas.
Here are the five pointers to encourage more innovation in Singapore.
1) Create an environment where new ideas are welcomed and rewarded. Give everyone the right to generate them.
Organize regular workshops or events to source out new ideas that can make your business more efficient. Evaluate each contribution and test the good ones out.
Most new ideas needs constant refinement before it can be made entirely right.
2) The implementation of new ideas would incur a certain amount of risk. Minimise your exposure by having a risk management plan.
Think of all the possible ways that it could turn out wrong and make sure you have a backup plan for all of them. This is to overcome fear of failure as ultimately, creativity is all about doing few wrong things until you get it to the sweet spot.
3) Try to remove adherence to fixed routine, as research has shown that it kills creativity. Change your routine and try to do the same things with a different approach or even try out things that are conceptually new to you.
4) Set aside a portion of your time for creative thinking and observation. We are often bounded by rules and duty,be it at work or in our daily life.
There is a need for inspiration to breed before innovation begins. Do not veer away from reading and observing.
To contrary beliefs, you won’t be copying people’s ideas when you observe or read their books as you will be adding information collectively to form something that is unique to you.
5) Question the status quo. It is prevalent in Singapore where people here are afraid to ask questions. A recent University of Michigan study found that people in business generally loathe raising questions; primarily because they fear that anyone who asks fundamental questions will be perceived as incompetent or uninformed.
We should remove this stigma as many a times; questions are linked to innovation and problem solving.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Hayden Huang is a Trading Representative for CIMB Securities Singapore. He has an avid interest in technical analysis and writes frequently on his blog. He has been awarded SPH ShareInvestor Forum Best Technical Analysis Practitioner for 2010/2011/2012.