3 EASY STEPS TO INNOVATE YOUR CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR!
When we think of innovation we often think about technology, business processes or new products. We don’t often consider innovation in the context of how we live our lives, personal relationships or the little things that we do day to day.
Sometimes it is in these areas of our lives that innovation is needed most. I hope to address these topics in future articles. Given that Christmas in only a few weeks away, I have chosen Christmas as the subject for this write-up.
Christmas as usual, approach:
If you’ve been following my articles you would be familiar by now with the ‘business as usual’ approach that I often refer to when I talk about innovation.
‘Business as usual’ approaches generally refer to the normal conduct of business regardless of current or changing circumstances. Often it is these areas in business that require innovation to effect a meaningful change.
The area of Christmas that I am innovating this year is our ‘family lunch’ and specifically, the ‘conversation’ that happens around our Christmas table during lunch.
It is often dull and none stimulating and I am left wanting to experience more aliveness from my family Christmas lunch. I want it to be more special than just the usual family get-together.
STEP 1: Write down the specific area of Christmas that you want to innovate.
The outcome that I would like to see is a more vibrant conversation at our Christmas table where everyone is more engaged and contributing.
STEP 2: Write down the desired outcome that you would like to see for your Christmas. For example, more fun and laughter or a more lively Christmas lunch conversation, as is in my case, or family connection.
The innovative step:
Remember innovation is about adding value to a process, product or service that opens up a new market or expands an existing market. Said another way, innovation creates new potential for a product or service.
Pivotal to the innovation process is connecting to the customer and the customer experience.
My challenge is to come up with an idea that engages my family and provide something that they will want to participate in that adds value to everyone’s overall experience during our Christmas lunch.
Given that Christmas is a time for connection. I thought I would ask everyone attending to do three simple things in the week leading up to Christmas day.
- I will be asking everyone to perform an act of kindness to themselves.
- Perform a random act of kindness to at least one other person.
- Come to the Christmas lunch prepared to share what they did and what they got out of it.
I will be putting this in the context of a ‘Christmas theme’ and letting everyone know.
What I find exciting is that the occasion will not commence on the day of Christmas but rather it will actually occur days earlier as individuals are thinking about what they are going to do and getting it done.
Research shows that when an act of kindness gets performed on someone or even witnessed, levels of the neurochemicals oxytocin and serotonin go up significantly with all parties. The giver, the receiver and the witness.
These chemicals are associated with the experience of joy, compassion, and general wellbeing. We want these chemicals circulating in our body all the time but especially around Christmas time.
Acts of kindness don’t have to be elaborate and they can include opening the door to someone, taking a friend out to lunch, buying a stranger a coffee, helping someone with their chores, or volunteering for a charity, etc.
STEP 3: Write down what your innovation step is and how you will execute it. Make sure you have fun with it!
Once again best wishes for the festive season and I look forward to connecting with you in the New Year!
Dr Kachab helps businesses actualise their potential through innovation and programs that elevate leadership effectiveness.
He is a cross-knowledge expert. His practical knowledge spans across executive management, innovation, coaching and leadership, education and training, publishing, medical sciences and holistic wellbeing.
This knowledge diversity gives him a broad perspective and the ability to connect the dots to gain rare insights for problem solving.