Initiative is the motivation to direct effort toward achieving challenging goals and remain determined even when things get difficult.
Here are some ways any employee can take greater initiative in his or her job. It’s one thing to tell your employees to take greater initiative, but another to provide them with easy and clear ways to do it.
Ways To Take More Initiative In Your Job
Tips On Thinking Differently
- Look for new combinations.
- Ask “what if?” or develop “what-if” scenarios.
- Consider approaches you’ve never thought about before.
- Brainstorm with others.
- Be a champion of new ideas — the old ways aren’t always the best ways. Without innovation, new products, new services, new ways of doing business would never emerge, and most organizations would be forever stuck doing the same old things the same old way.
Taking Action–Capitalizing on Opportunities
Taking action can often be a scary proposition. It would be much easier to wait for your boss to make the decision and take the responsibility to tell you what to do and when to do it. However, progressive companies realize that they need employees at all levels that are willing and encouraged to take chances and to make decisions–and be willing to take responsibility for their actions.
Doing Your Homework
Preparation is often the key to success in any endeavour. You will be more successful in convincing others that what you believe is the right thing, if you are armed and ready with the facts. Taking the initiative to do your homework means doing the basic research necessary to back up your claims, such as obtaining necessary information, determining costs and benefits, making calculations, and/or gaining buy-in from others who will be affected.
One of the easiest–and most effective–ways for employees to take initiative is to be on the lookout for ways to improve the work processes, products, services, and systems that are a vital part of how the organization does its business. In fact, the closer you are to an organization’s actual product, the greater the chance is that you have more daily contact with its real business–its customers, clients, products, and services–than do those who are higher up the ladder.
Perseverance and Persistence
Employees who excel at taking initiative usually must also persist in the support of the ideas and actions in which they believe. This type of initiative can, at times, include overcoming the resistance of higher-ups or of entrenched policies and systems that work to ensure the maintenance of the status quo.
Unleashing Creativity In Others
Anyone can unleash the untapped innovation and creativity in others by applying the following principles:
- Take the mystery out of creativity by teaching them what you know.
- Discover how creative they are and encourage them.
- Define specific challenges for them.
- Minimize in them, the fear of failure.
- Take personal responsibility for their actions.
- Encourage active communications between you and them.
- Enhance your own creative skills and behaviour to set an example.
This is how a leader or an employer ought to provoke or encourage initiative in others.
- How Unofficial Activity Drives Innovation: Lessons from Google, 3M and Pitney Bowes (inkhouse.net)
- IBM Creative Leadership Study, 2011- more creativity needed among leaders (marcisegal.wordpress.com)
- Creativity Talks, Innovation Walks (lsuagcenterode.wordpress.com)
- The role of informal social networks in building organizational creativity and innovation (rossdawsonblog.com)
- How To Kick Innovation Up a Notch to Nanovation (startupprofessionals.com)
- Endless Sources of Innovation in Today’s Workplace (dixonschwabl.com)
- Interview with Dr. Hal Gregersen, Co-Author of The Innovator’s DNA – Pt. 1 (zanesafrit.typepad.com)
- 9 ways to keep innovation alive in your marketing organization (customerthink.com)
- How to Generating Company Employee Creativity (zset.wordpress.com)
- John Tropea: Blogging Innovation: Importance of Employee Engagement – Innovation blog articles, videos, and insights (business-strategy-innovation.com)
- #creativity #innovation The 7 Most Common Brainstorming Mistakes (uwsscriptwriting.wordpress.com)
- Building an Innovative Organization (customerthink.com)
- Innovate to Grow (thesearchforleadership.wordpress.com)
- Innovation vs. Creativity (valueacceleration.wordpress.com)
- Taking Initiative (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- 9 Tips for Activating the Entrepreneurial Spirit (mashable.com)
- Govt to recognise business insurance holders’ innovation (premierlinedirect.co.uk)
- The Most Creative Ideas Come from Your Employees (themarlincompany.com)
- personal capability (karenkleinman.wordpress.com)
- Beware the cult of ideas (empwaynek.wordpress.com)
- Bertrand Duperrin: A new social contract for creative work (jarche.com)
- Employers doing more to combat workplace stress (career-advice.monster.co.uk)