6.7 Incredibly Simple Ways to Be More Innovative on Nelson Mandela Day

Today, as the world commemorates Nelson Mandela Day, we pay tribute not only to the game-changer of peace, unity and forgiveness, but to an icon who recognised, embraced and encouraged innovation in Africa. Becoming innovative is a process, not a one-off endeavour. Innovators must think different, and thinking differently leads them to acting differently. On this Mandela Day 2016, here are 6.7 tips to help us all become more innovative.


  1. Ask “what if”? Do some lateral thinking by asking “what if…..”? Challenge every boundary and assumption that applies in your field. You and those around you will create awesome ideas once the normal constraints are lifted.
  1. Associate and make connections: Innovators are good at associated thinking, or simply associating. They make  connections between seemingly unrelated problems and ideas, as well as synthesizing new ideas.
  1. Ask what people want to see in future products, services, or tools,  or what the big new idea will be. Many early adopters are active on social network groups and will readily respond with suggestions.
  1. Observe and question: Observing and questioning are inseparable. Innovators observe things, then question why. If you want to be an innovative person, when you see things, you have to pay attention and then wonder why, and ask questions too!
  1. Network with other innovators: Networking is a skill that innovators use to identify and develop ideas; this can be through spending time with groups of other people with different backgrounds and experiences. By engaging with others, innovators increase the probability that they will gain useful insights.
  1. Persist despite setbacks. To create a culture in which innovation flourishes, takes courage. Determined innovators persist despite setbacks.

6.7. Get some sleep. It’s important to get some rest. A lot can happen when you take some time off to let your ideas take shape. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you allow time for ideas to grow if you simply give it some time.