Engineering and science play a major role in creating innovations. The science in combination with innovative approaches magnifies the role of our economic, social, and environmental futures. But before bringing any ‘Eureka’ moment into one’s work life, businesses need to create an environment that supports curiosity, connections, and safety at the workplace.

The desire to learn new and abstract things, while making efforts to put them into practice, is the driving force for innovation. Building meaningful connections and acquainting with like-minded people who can strike powerful conversations are important aspects too. The age-old trend of using innovation in product manufacturing and technological developments has been reversed ever since the competition in every sector has become gruelling.

Considering the global value chain, engineering and infrastructure are climbing the charts with a need to incorporate innovation as a business enabler. In doing so, chances for revenue growth and increased productivity are considerably higher than non-innovative approaches.

How is being innovative beneficial?

Being innovative in the workplace is a boon, especially if it’s in the engineering field. Embrace it, and learn how to utilise it to the maximum. The profound opportunities that innovations offer are cost-effectiveness, increased efficiency, the ability to adapt to market changes, and occupying a skilled workforce.

With regards to the workforce, companies will be able to offer new positions in different sections and propose new ways to conduct a system. Innovations allow businesses to develop a skilled and powerful workforce. To reduce the costs and maximise profits, working around innovative and emerging technologies prove to be helpful. Using advanced technologies like AI will enable companies and businesses to predict the delivery of projects as well as making the infrastructural needs available. The most important being, the ability to adapt to changes in the field raises the bar on innovation.

Can you bring innovation to what you do?

The answer is yes, although it involves a set of prerequisites. Generic skills such as problem-solving, data analysis, and critical thinking are the core factors needed for bringing creativity to the workplace. Being adequately equipped with design skills is definitely a brownie point. People with a skill of problem-based learning and inquisitive learning behaviour can contribute to innovations. Cross-functional project work can bring together people with complementary skills. Creativity is an outcome of a detailed interaction of experts. Therefore, expertise in a particular field will enable one to focus on problems.

The universally accepted method of bringing in creativity is through brainstorming, otherwise called brainwriting. One needs to create an environment where knowledge, skill, and innovative processes can merge together. There are other techniques like forced connections and morphological analysis, that are suited to phases of different innovation processes.

How do you test for innovation?

Needless to say, innovation is a difficult task. There are a set of attributes that are either present in full or in parts, that contribute to performance, processes, and business-model innovations. The aspiration to regard innovation-led growth as a critical factor, to choose to invest in a coherent-time and risk-balanced portfolio of initiatives with ample resources is important when testing for authentic innovation.

The attitude to accelerate developments and launch innovations effectively, the ability to motivate, reward and organise a team are also major factors to check for innovative propensities.

The ability to form multiple solutions, identify problems, or even offer brand new solutions are part of an engineer’s job. By crafting skills for doing so, engineers set an example and pave the way for a mindset that all engineers should strive for. Today, many educational institutions offer many engineering-specific courses and qualifications, which means more prospects of creativity and imagination that will continue to address the challenges we face as a global community.