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Three steps to innovation with your first coffee of the day!

Innovation is a mindset.

“Coffee Ritual” —

We know how difficult it is to stay on track every day. That’s why we are always seeking solutions that remind us every day of what’s really important. At TinyBox and Münchner Kaffeerösterei we use the coffee ritual to be more innovative every single day.

When we are asked what we do in our free time, we think “what’s that?!” because we spend a majority of our time working — especially as entrepreneurs and founders. The same thing occurs in a corporation, when an employee is asked to “innovate” on top of their many other tasks and responsibilities, they think “um when?” It’s a challenge. “Solve this problem.” “Come up with a new solution.” “Innovate.” When are they supposed to innovate? With what time? Where do they start? How can they start?

There are three steps that can help employees and entrepreneurs to innovate effectively. The first is ask the right questions before you start, and then start…with coffee and the coffee ritual!

Step one: Ask the right questions

Develop a better understanding of the problem we are seeking to solve with innovation. Two questions that can help are:

  1. How well is the problem defined? When Steve Jobs set out to build the iPod, he defined the problem as “1000 songs in my pocket.”. He was a master at defining a clear product vision.

  2. Who is best placed to solve the problem? Once Jobs defined the iPod problem, it was clear that he needed to find a disk drive manufacturer who could meet his needs and, once he did, he built one of the most successful products in history.

Innovation — unlike strategy which creates a clear path to the goal — is often confusing for people. They give too much information, too little information, or don’t know where to start. Or they think it means establishing no end goal at all! It is all about having a vision and then problem-solving with the right people.

Step two: Grab a cup of The Innovator’s Coffee

One tool we use to set our mindset for the day, is our Innovators Coffee. Seems funny at first, but it’s true. We leverage that first cup of the day to create focus and drive innovation. And we aren’t the only ones!

Throughout history, coffee has been consumed by many great thinkers, musicians and artists. In fact, some of the most successful and acclaimed human beings to ever walk the planet were totally, sometimes painfully, nuts for coffee.

  • Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a short opera about coffee obsession

  • Ludwig Van Beethoven took his coffee with exactly 60 beans per cup

  • Benjamin Franklin hung out at coffee shops before it became so cliche

  • Voltaire is said to have drunk 40–50 cups of coffee a day!

So if you want to hold yourself to the same calibre as these great innovators you can rev-up your innovation using coffee too!

Step Three: Use The Innovator’s Coffee Ritual

To provide the clarity and focus we need to ideate, and we use the Coffee Ritual to clear the way. It’s simple, basically while we prepare and enjoy our first coffee we prepare our mindset for the day. (The six triggers conveniently spell out COFFEE so they are easy to remember! ;-))

  • C → CENTER We don’t start a heavy workout without a good stretch first, same goes for the mind. Take a moment, breathe, take your first sip and conduct a quick check-in. Clear the mind.

  • O → OPEN UP Life is full of surprises to be enjoyed every single day, expect the unexpected and recognise that it is your perception that is reality. So don’t react poorly to challenges, take it all in and see the opportunity in everything.

  • F → FORGIVE Let go of any bad feelings, every day is a new chance, a clean slate, so make the best of it. Let go of any transgressions from the previous day, week or year, forgive yourself and forgive the people around you. Start fresh. Feel good.

  • F → FOCUS What is the one big thing or goal you want to accomplish today? What is the one thing that can move you forward? Focus on that task at hand, now is the time to move it forward. A clear problem statement help! (see above)

  • E → ELIMINATE You must remove barriers to innovate, so get rid of major distractions that cost more time and energy than they are worth. Give your energy to the projects that deserve it, the others can wait.

  • E → EXECUTE The hardest part is always the start, so use your caffeine kick as the fuel to your innovation. Don’t worry about perfection, 10% towards your goal is better than nothing at all. Just start.

On the days that we ask ourselves what we want to achieve that day, or how we can focus on what we really want to do, as well as remove barriers to that goal, always — always — leads to better results and creates more space for innovation.

Happy innovating!

. . .

Co-authored by Raj Hayer & Steven Mc Auley

To kick start your day, The Innovator’s Coffee Subscription comes with a free Coffee Ritual desk card!

Instagram: TinyBox| Innovators Coffee

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