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How can I continue to stay creative within the workplace?

Due to my interest in engineering, I need to keep my mind in the imaginative state, and continue to be creative. How can I practice these concepts in the workplace? I am aware will have to explore this on my own, or with peers, and continue to better myself in order to prosper in the workplace as a quality engineer. #business #engineering #creativity

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Rupam’s Answer

Making lists can help you to get your ideas down on paper, have them prioritized and help you stay committed and continue to take action.

Hi Rupam! Thank you for the advice you gave Jenah above! I had a few follow up questions I wanted to ask out of curiosity. 1) What are some ways that you, as a consultant, make sure you keep your mind in a creative state? 2) What are some ways that we could all practice being more creative? Any next steps? 3) Do you have any thoughts specific to Jenah as an engineer? Thank you so much in advance! David Ohta COACH

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Simon’s Answer

Engineering is a very creative career. You might be making existing things better or building new things. Try to pick a job/position that has desciptions like continuous improvement, industry leader or inovative solutions. Try to pick a company that is diverse if possible. Then it’s up to you to continuously look for viable solutions and improvements in your work place. Many time people have great ideas but don’t know how to develop, fund and implement them. This is where a good engineer excels. Observe, listen to people in the field and work as a team to implement their ideas. For 35 years I found great satisfaction in looking back on the project I did from; new products introductions, to environmental and safety projects. When I would visit the plants that I made improvements to, I took great pride in my efforts when people came up and thanked me for improving their workplace/lives. Good luck.

Simon recommends the following next steps:

Participate in improvement teams
Look at existing operations and ask questions
Ask others for their ideas for improvements

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Donald’s Answer

Hi Jenah,

I once held a position as Sr Director of Quality Improvement and Integration. There had never been a position like this in our company but my boss said I was the perfect person for the job; There also was no "job description". So I started thinking about the best parts of each operation I was familiar with and started a journal of "Best Practice". Whenever I saw something that was interesting, done well with good outcomes, I'd think about how that might apply to another part of our operation. I visited facilities all over the world and can say with some confidence, each area had some really great things going on and at the same time had some others that truly needed help so keeping track of both was important so you always have some ideas for solutions and another for targets that would benefit from best practice.

Talking with your peers in your and other industries can be very helpful. Innovations typically start small and grow incrementally so keep and eye out for "the next big thing". A great Hockey player once mused, our team is great because we are not looking at where the puck was, we want to know where it will be. So always look for the next step. Keep asking questions about the best things they are doing and talk about the best thing you're doing. Collaboration of this type can often be mutually beneficial.

Talk with the people who actually do the work! They are often the most qualified to know what the problems are, and they probably have some good ideas for solutions. Don't forget to keep them informed if you're using their ideas. One of the greatest frustrations for many workers is that they have solutions but nobody will listen.

I once ran a large mechanical department. Diagnostics were a big problem so I started thinking about who would have similar problems so I started considering how healthcare solutions were developed and how diagnostics were managed there......Look at what the experts are doing and become an expert. And stay current with your industry.....what you learn at school will quickly become obsolete and it is absolutely necessary to update your knowledge and skills as a lifelong process.

I often will look up things in "google scholar". The research process used to validate and provide evidence "for and against" found there sometimes crystallizes my thoughts. Subscribe to trade journals in your field AND in those areas that hold interest for you. Sometimes you get a "I could really use that" moment. Many trade associations maintain a "Knowledge Repository" that houses current research and useful reference material about their industry...think of your mind as a sponge - absorbing all you can whenever you can.

I like going to trade shows or expositions. I once attended a military hardware show and came up with a solution for a problem that was driving me crazy. The military had a similar problem and fixed it. The unexpected consequence was the reliability I was looking for to solve my problem.

Most importantly, keep an open mind! Thing about ways things might work as opposed to how they wouldn't..... that is often the key to great inspiration.

Have a great day!

Don Knapik