Something to try:
1. Sit down with a sharp person from another industry.
2. Describe the details of a project you’re working on (include your challenges).
3. Ask them to point out opportunities you might be missing.
4. Switch it up and do the same thing for them.
5. Recognize that someone else can often see the opportunities/challenges in front of you a lot easier than you can.
I’m impressed that concepts such as this are finally seeing the light of day in a business magazine. Without an academic background, I was hired by my previous employer to come in and overhaul the enquiry to enrollment cycle. Just 3 years ago, an employer taking the risk of hiring someone without a background in the industry was something of note. Now, it’s considered innovative.