Monday, November 17, 2008

Be Open for Innovation

These changing times with changing conditions put nonprofit leaders on the hot seat for finding ways to do more with less. Sparks of innovation can move nonprofits beyond business as usual with new ways to work smarter, not harder. Yet it isn't always easy. Perhaps Tim Brown's insights translate from the corporate world into the third sector: "The biggest barrier (to innovation) is needing to know the answer before you get started." He doesn't discount the need for a business case when seeking incremental innovation. But, he notes that if you're looking for the next iPod, you have to embrace both the convergent and divergent thinking involved. Articulate your purpose and then spark curiosity with new ways of thinking and different kinds of questions. Don't go straight for an answer, but be open to a more winding path. You just might open your mind and your organization to truly innovative solutions.
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