business womanBeing innovative is a great way to differentiate ourselves in the workplace. Offering different solutions to problems and thinking outside the box sets us apart from those who simply show up and do their jobs every day. Yet we can’t force ourselves to be creative and although we are all innately creative beings, often creativity eludes us. Most of the time, we are too busy rushing around focused on our to do lists. The fact that we are task oriented helps us to be more productive, but makes it more difficult to take the time to clear our minds for a bit and let our creativity flourish.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Madan Birla last week for an upcoming radio show. Madan is the author of Unleashing Creativity and Innovation: Nine Lessons From Nature For Enterprise Growth and Career Success. He offers a great tip to help us see problems from a different perspective by asking ourselves “what if?”, and I love this advice. I can see the value of using a “what if” approach to many things in life.

For instance, ask yourself:

What if we used another technology solution for this project?

What if there was a different way to streamline this process?

What if I get out of my career rut? What are the possibilities?

What if I move to a place I’ve always wanted to live?

What if I get out of this toxic relationship?

What if I let go of my fears about success and live my dream?

I think we should all take Madan’s advice and adopt “what if” thinking. For one, I am putting a post it note on my computer to remind me to look at the world of possibilities when approaching anything I do in my life and career.

What if you did this? How creative and empowering will you be?