There are big innovations and there are small day to day creative steps that we can take to improve what we already do, may be we can do it differently or may be there are better ways out there to do it. Paul Sloane in his article Ways to Improve Your Creativity at Work talks about seven simple steps that you can take for the regular work you do to be more creative and more productive.
Paul has put each step very simply and clearly, but if I synthesize them and put them in one sentence – it means go out at the intersections of what you do and what others do. Innovations and new thoughts happen at the intersection – so go out and meet people from other departments, other fields, other sections of society, other side of table i.e. your customers and clients. Book ‘Medici Effect’ talks about this in detail with examples of how some of the biggest revolutions in the history of mankind happened when people from different worlds came together and exchanged ideas.
To keep creative juices flowing, you need to infuse energy from places unlike yours, situations unlike yours, people unlike yours. Given our lifestyles and work lives, we need to make a conscious effort to do this, unfortunately it is not in built in our default designs.