Project Management

How to Kick-Start Innovation (Without Buying New Technology)

PMI Toronto Chapter

Bruce is the founder of, a resource for growing IT project managers.

There’s a problem in our culture’s innovation discussion. We equate innovation almost exclusively with digital technology or new products. In the case of project managers, you might assume that innovation means implementing a new software solution.

Don’t get me wrong: New products and technology are great. However, those are lag indicators for innovation. They tell you that innovative thinking has taken place. What do you need to do? You need to create the pre-condition for innovation to happen: developing an innovation mindset.

How honing an innovative mindset benefits your career
Why should you bother putting energy into innovation thinking? Here are just a few of the reasons you should pursue this frame of mind:

  • Solve more problems on your own: Frustrated with continually having to escalate problems to the project steering committee or sponsor? Innovation thinking will help you to accomplish more on your own.
  • Identify new opportunities: Anyone can follow orders at work. Innovators can identify problems and opportunities.
  • Bring more joy to work: We spend many of our waking hours at work. It’s only fair we take steps to make that time more enjoyable. That benefit is within reach when you are an innovative thinker.

5 practical ways to get more innovative
Here are some ways you can work on honing your innovative mindset this month:

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