How to use creative thinking to build your business, grow your organisation and strengthen your own position as a talented, influential expert. My interest in this topic relates to my work in Australia as a Lateral Thinking Facilitator, Creative Director, Corporate Comedian, Hoax Speaker, Master of Ceremonies and Writer: http://bit.ly/qoSo
The first step in sparking breakthrough creativity is to nix the status quo.
Graeme Bowman's insight:
Isn't the human mind a strange thing?
An excerpt from this article reads: 'A compelling study from the University of Michigan verifies that people often refuse to relinquish their deep-seated beliefs even when presented with overwhelming evidence to contradict those beliefs.'
We're talking here about experienced, supposedly intelligent senior managers, and yet the irrational gremlins still have the power to dominate. My question is: do they occasionally dominate your own decision-making?
In my own work as a creativity facilitator, challenging current beliefs and assumptions is a prime focus. Now read on ......
Dan Roam schools me on creative process using his new book, BLAH BLAH BLAH. amzn.to/wF0DNS
Graeme Bowman's insight:
A great chance here to eavesdrop on two communication gurus, Dan Roam and Nancy Duarte, as they discuss what works for them when trying to suck great ideas out of their head and develop a message or write a book.
Dr Ken Hudson came up with the concept of Speed Thinking. This website is dedicated to the process, and on the page I'm directing you to there's free online software that will let you try it out yourself.
If you're a manager, this is well worth a look, and if you're part of a management team, the essence of this article could form an important discussion topic for one of your meetings. Here's an excerpt: 'You, as a manager, want to increase the number of new ideas being pitched to you. It's that simple. You want to create an environment where new ideas are popping all the time. If you do, old problems and ineffective ways of doing things will begin dissolving. Spontaneously. This, you see, is the hallmark of an empowered organization - a place where everyone is encouraged and empowered to think creatively. Within this kind of environment managers become coaches, not gatekeepers.'
New ideas have a tough time being heard. How can you speak up in such a way that the idea is given a chance to influence the organization and be acted upon? To be effectively heard, you need to recognize the context, plan your approach, and adjust your style to communicate ideas that will connect with the needs of the business. This article from Harvard Business Review outlines six useful techniques.
Organisations often pay lip service to the need for creativity and innovation. There's some sound advice in this 'Innovation Manifesto' for embedding attitudes, behaviours and proceses within organisational culture.
In this article from SUCCESS magazine, three experts offer strategies to inspire creativity and innovation, and involve more people in the creative process. There are also tips on hiring creative people.
One of the main uses for creativity in business is when you are trying to get a message across; eg motivating employees, persuading customers, explaining complex concepts. Online, offline, on-stage, off-stage, it all gets down to communicating in a way that cuts through the clutter and gets heads nodding. Crafting and delivering creative, engaging presentations is the aim of this website: Creative Presentation Skills. It's my sister Scoop.it site to this one, and will point you towards numerous free resources that focus on presenting, communication, storytelling, persuasion, etc.
The Six Thinking Hats tool enables you to manage the thinking process. It's especially useful in meetings, as It encourages collaboration rather than argument, and unbundles the many types of thinking that may be going on within a group at the one time. A favourite tool I use myself when facilitating creative thinking sessions, the method is outlined here in this article on Wikipedia.
Got an idea that's all dressed up with nowhere to go? Perhaps you'll find a home for it via one of these websites that solicit ideas from the public. Some are after business ideas, while others seek ideas from people who want to make a real difference to our planet. (One of my own clients, KCI, for whom I ran a creativity workshop, is in there as well.) Even if you don't contribute any yourself, you may stumble across an idea you can adapt to your own business.
A new kind of laser captures light just like some colorful bird feathers. Nature has been solving problems and creating awesome 'products' for millions of years, like the stunning feathers of parrots and kingfishers. People studied how light was interacting with these feathers. Once they knew what was happening, they asked, "Can we use this to improve our lasers?" As a little bird once told me, always look outside your own field for ideas and inspiration.
In this article from Harvard Business Review, Todd Henry, CEO of Accidental Creative, suggests we get into a structured creative rhythm he calls F-R-E-S-H: Focus, Relationships, Energy, Stimuli, Hours. Following this practice will ensure that the most important business activity — creative thought — doesn't get sacrificed on the altar of short-term productivity.
What are some of the secrets to being creative? On this page on my own website, you'll find six audio clips giving tips on the skills and attitudes needed to think creatively, on dealing with people who stifle creativity, and on selling your ideas to others.
Here's a bucket list of creativity articles to read before you die, from Dr Ken Hudson. Apart from valuable insights into innovation and idea generation, there's also a focus on new product development and marketing.