Creativity & Innovation

I recently got awarded TOP creativity and innovation voice on LinkedIn. Yeah, it’s a thing. Between you, me and the gate post, I don’t place much stock in it because I suspect LinkedIn is trying to harness some meaningful engagement. While it doesn’t pay any bills,  it does give me a lightbulb mark (seriously!) beside my name. LOL.

So, in the spirit of playing a TOP creativity and innovation voice, I’d like to share some ideas today.  Because upping the creativity and innovation quotient sounds fabulous. EXCEPT. Where do you start?

Creativity seems to have been killed off almost entirely if you’ve been paying attention to the ‘noise’ lately. It’s like none of us are using the big three. What are those, you ask?

  • Much dopamine is released in our brains. Triggers like exercising, listening to music, and even taking a warm shower make dopamine flow. Horrors! Could it be that we don’t listen, don’t exercise and have reached a grubby state of cleanliness?
  • We’re relaxed. When we have a relaxed state of mind, we’re more likely to turn our attention inwards, able to make insightful connections.  EGADS!  Has our affliction for a Starbucks or Tim’s become so strong that we are in a constant state of caffeination arousal?
  • We’re NOT distracted. Distraction gives our brains a break so our subconscious can work on a problem more creatively. What do you mean not being endlessly glued to our electronics is unhealthy? Says who?

To be uber-helpful, here are five foolproof ideas. I use them personally and guide my clients to use them.

1.      You’ve got a question about something? Attack the issue from all different sides and write down TEN different ways to ask your question.  (Very helpful for dealing with annoying operational problems.)

2.     Debug. One thing permanently blocks an experience from entering the ‘truly awesome’ category. Get brutal and write down many ways to eliminate or fix the annoyance. (This is particularly helpful for improving the customer experience.)

3.     Become an expert. While real-life 10,000 hours of practice experience is the best, Ted talks and mentors can short-circuit the process.

4.      Be open and aware. Create your luck. When something doesn’t work the first time, look at it differently. (This is how intelligent companies repurpose research and development efforts.)

5.       PLAY. Pretend you are a child and take a fun break. Get into crayons, glitter, Lego, and aimless drawings. (The only objective is to break from routine, loosen your brain cells and see what happens.)

These are what I know work well for increasing one’s creativity and innovation.

After you give them a go, could you tell me what new creative and innovative ideas and breakthroughs you come up with?

Spinning mirror ball for BPYBN