Living Our Values
Change and Innovation
Change and innovation are the heritage and future of Ohio State. As a research university, it’s part of the fabric of this institution. Curiosity, creativity, and positive, constructive disagreements drive world-changing discoveries.
Embracing change and innovation will enable Ohio State to continue to be a world-class institution. The University’s depth, breadth, and reach can lead to significant improvements that will benefit the world. But to achieve that, the many great minds at the university must work together and look for new ways to approach old problems, and identify new problems and ways to solve them.
A spirit of change and innovation must start at the individual level. Embracing change and innovation at this level requires taking risks and initiating actions despite an uncertain outcome, and anticipating and preparing for change and shifting demands. Specific behaviors that help with this include looking for creative and unique solutions, asking how to accomplish a task instead of listing reasons why something can’t be done, approaching problems with curiosity, and continuously seeking out learning opportunities.
It can be difficult to embrace change, and think of new ways of doing thing – change is always uncomfortable, and it’s easy to become trapped in the “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?” mindset. As one of the world’s leading research universities, Ohio State has limitless capacity to do good; applying continuous creativity, adaptability and learning can lead to solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Many of the great researchers at Ohio State excel in this area within their research. Applying Change and Innovation to additional areas can further strengthen results. Here are some tips to facilitate openness to change and an innovative mindset:
- Be persistent. Don’t give up when discouraged by a difficult situation or problem. Rather, list at least ten reasons why something will work. When it seems there is an impasse on a problem, list ten potential solutions, regardless of how practical they seem, and think through ways to apply those solutions.
- Approach each day with curiosity. Don’t automatically discounting a new idea that appears impossible; instead, look past any personal filters and think through the ways it could work. When someone else’s actions are frustrating, think through their filters, and remember that they most likely have positive intentions.
- Always learn. Experience new ideas through things such as taking classes, attending webinars, and reading professional journals; this expands current knowledge and skills. In addition to areas that are directly applicable to current responsibilities, seek out seemingly unrelated topics to experience even more new ways of thinking and new skills. Be sure to incorporate the new skills and knowledge into daily work.
- Do something new every day. Expand experience in a variety of ways, including talking with colleagues about shared experiences or taking a new route to work, to shift current mindsets and offer new ways of thinking.