Jane Gets Educated
Jane Speaks of Carnivals and Good Fortune

Jane Says: Get Innovative! Here are Five Suggestions

Now that we have traveling out of our system - for a time, anyway - we plan on getting back on track. That means offering our usual Tuesday Fit by Five, our Wednesday news and reviews, and our so popular Thursday interviews. Before we get into the Five Ways to Be Innovative this Year, we remind you that yesterday was Carnival day. We hope you had a chance to "go back to school" on a visit Dr. Jeff Cornwall of The Entreprenurial Mind, the host of this week's Carnival of the Capitalists. Jane's post was on branding - a worthy topic, we hope.

We were more impressed, however, by the tribute to the now late Peter Drucker. Yes, though we didn't speak of his passing, we noticed. Our brain has not computed this tragic news, yet.

Today, we hope to inspire you to innovative mindthink by offering Five Ways to Be Innovative - this year.

1. Embrace your inner child. This involves stepping out of your comfort zone and looking at the world, your world, through the yes of a five,six, seven, eight, nine or ten year old. If you can, take a day and spend it with one child (or two, at the most) and let her refresh your memory of life before taxes and deadlines and TGIF. The world will look entirely different then, we guarantee it.Gazing_outthe_window

2. Take the bus (or train) to work and bring a legal notepad. Write down the thoughts you have as you gaze out the window. When you leave the driving to someone else, and immerse yourself in the moment, you may just feel your imagination tugging at your grey matter - offering untold answers to questions you've been agonizing over for days or weeks.

3. Volunteer at a senior citizens home. Take a few hours out of your week to brighten the day of a group of senior citizens - by reading aloud to them, teaching them something new, or just asking their advice. Seniors over 70 or 80 may sometimes be forgetful, but their decades of life can surely be worth a discussion. Ask for their help - they might surprise you. At the very least, you will come away knowing that you made a difference to someone. We think they will make a difference to you, too.

4. Start a book based on your companies' unique qualities. Ask for input from everyone who works for you. Assign each person a chapter on their expertise. If you're a solopreneur, make this book your project for 2006 - with the goal being to get it published but not to focus on who will buy it. Wait until you're halfway through writing it to decide if it will ever be for sale, or if you will merely print a few copies and share them with family and friends. The goal is to create documentation of why you started your business in the first place - to energize and revitalize your goals.

5. Trade places, for one day, with your secretary or personal assistant. Find out what they know, that you don't. Allow them to make all the decisions and mistakes associated with your role as president or CEO. Stand behind their decisions - don't let them pass the buck to you. You'll be too busy answering phones, preparing the conference room, booking tickets to the next industry conference, ordering office supplies, meeting with middle-managers, and generally trying to second-guess all of the senior executives on the team.

We think there is a lot to LIKE about that.


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