Like most people, when I think of this word, the first thing that pops into my head is Thomas Edison and his amazing innovative light bulb. Or perhaps something a bit more recent like when Apple unveiled the iPhone, and we all knew that phones would never again be the same.

Disruptive cases of innovation like these two examples are the minority. For most of us dietitians, innovation may never be quite as ground breaking as the light bulb or the iPhone. But that doesn’t mean we cannot innovate in ways that could potentially change our relationships with our clients, customers and colleagues.

A few months ago, I watched a fantastic webinar on Dietitian Connection presented by Tara Diversi. Tara said something that really struck a cord with me. She said that there are not many jobs out there for dietitians, but there is plenty of work. I could not agree more with Tara. About 2.5 years ago I left the comfort of a corporate nutrition job, where whilst I was required to be somewhat innovative in my job, I still received my monthly paycheck and other benefits, with or without any innovative action.

For newly graduated dietitians who are trying to get a career foothold, or small business owners in any nutrition field, innovation is a critical requirement for success, especially if you still want to receive that monthly paycheck. So the question is, how can we continue to be innovative when there are very few jobs but plenty of work?

I believe it is the little things that sometimes are the biggest innovations. In the 2.5 years of running my own business, I have found this to be very true. I have needed to innovate to create new business opportunities and instead of trying to come up with the big bang ideas that cause radical change, I have focused on the smaller every day challenges that my clients and customers face. Social media and real time communication has allowed dietitians the opportunity to communicate in an innovative way with their customers through real conversations. By presenting simple ideas, I have won new business, created new relationships and delivered great benefits to my clients.

The point is that real innovation doesn’t have to be a new flashy product, in fact it doesn’t even have to be new — something nobody has done before. Real innovation happens when you focus on solving real issues in real people’s lives using your expert knowledge and the tools and technologies that you have right at your disposal.

At FoodBytes, we use the latest digital and social media tools to innovate and deliver nutrition communication solutions that communicate to your audience. If this is something you want to find out more about, get in touch with Teri at [email protected]

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