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Let’s Get Creative – Part 2

Putting it into practice

Now that you have your idea pad you are able to capture your thoughts anytime, whenever they come to mind; you can leverage them when the time is right?

Fill your idea pad with the concepts that are important to your business or life. Whether its key points in your retail business, supply chain, new ideas for your manufacturing process, or key capabilities that separate you from the competition, each of these thoughts forms a foundation for a network of lateral connections that can lead to your next breakthrough.

These breakthrough ideas can often be catalytic in their concept and execution, in that they can fire multiple parts of your organization and your demand – supply chain partner organizations as well.

Remember there are no silly thoughts as you muse and associate the different concepts; and think about all of the possible scenarios, as you combine, branch and recombine them.

For example, if you are in the retail or trades business, being able to link different product or service development ideas to different customers and market segments; can trigger new benefits for your customers.

An architect might link building specifications to new materials to building partners and new locations; and come up with the better designs, more economical building construction and a better environmental fit to the buildings location.

What an idea pad provides is a structured new perspective beyond mundane scraps of paper that end up being disregarded. This gives you more possibilities to see connections in a new light and your evolving thought processes.

Inspirational Warehousing and Idea Incubation

When you’ve built a structure that encompasses your business goals or passions, you can capture and link up all the ideas you have, no matter how fanciful they may seem at first blush. Much our modern world is built on ideas that must have seemed crazy even to their creators.

A trio of young California women are making serious money designing large oversized custom earrings called, “Head banger Accessories”. Their chic ‘movement’ events bring devout followers together where they talk about, trade and buy earrings.

Ever Had A Stupid Idea

Dog GogglesDoggles (eyewear for dogs) is the dumbest idea that I wish I came up with. Growing up I was raised with many dogs and that vision never crossed my eyes.

A 21 year old college student in England set up a website where you could buy pixels on his homepage for $1 each. Within 4 months he had sold a million pixels! What I found interesting is that he took the first $1000 dollars he made from the site and bought a press release which he distributed to media sources. From that little bit of publicity he was able to make big money in a very short amount of time. Here’s the real kicker though, he sold the last 1,000 pixels on eBay for over $150,000!!! How’s that for an example of the relationship between supply and demand?

What about the guy who came up with the corn maze idea – labyrinths made or cut from corn fields – when he first got the idea, all his friends and family thought he had rocks in his head “If you cut into maze, tourists will come. Now what in the world would make somebody connect a field of maze to the tourist industry.

In the case of your brain, these ideas don’t need to get in the way and if they never lead anywhere, there’s nothing lost. Your mind can hold hundreds of thousands of “Thoughts”.

On the other hand, keeping them connected to creative topics, allowing them to incubate and keep them accessible for when a catalyst for making them into reality happens or something comes to mind later – well that’s getting creative.

So get started, your next AHA moment is just a few unrelated concepts away.


Let’s get Creative – Part 1

What Is Creativity?

Creativity is the ability to associate seemingly unrelated concepts in your mind; and then combine, branch and recombine them until you get an A-HA moment. This is the way new ideas, products, processes and business models are generated. Most of us use this method subconsciously, but there is a certain mystery and awe around our creative facilities. This intangible process makes our creative process and emergent outputs seem somewhat unpredictable and serendipitous.

How do you maximize such an ephemeral and yet essential process? I don’t claim to know all the answers, but there are some easy things you can do to help you with all of them.

Clearing the mind for New Ideas for Creative Connections

Regardless of your workload or season, if you’re pre-occupied with your daily business operational tasks and commitments (they are managing you – rather than you managing them), they will take up all of the precious space in your mind. Creative opportunities will be missed.

Step 1 “Clear some time and space in your mind and creativity will instantly fill the vacuum.”

This idea of clearing your head to think creatively can generate greater productivity in your business and personal life. An essential theme for this methodology is having a trusted place and space to store and build on your creative thoughts. This requires a system of organization like an idea pad (digital or physical) and prioritization so that ultimately you can focus on what really matters to you and your business. Not only can you capture your creative vision but you can use your idea pad to store information, tasks, allowing you to sift through the data clutter that might be holding your creativity back.

There’s really no better place to get your creative juices flowing on a business project, hobby or interest than recording them in your idea pad. Idea pads make linking concepts together fun. You can connect any idea to anything else, so your creative ideas are always linked. This lateral thinking enabled by non-linear connections is the hallmark of creativity and is easily achieved through practice

Lateral Connections

Once you have practiced the art of associating different concepts in your mind. Creativity in many cases is then simply a matter of trial and selection. As Albert Einstein put it, “The secret to creativity is to hide your sources.”

From Einstein to Edward de Bono, many creative insights emerge from making connections between two seemingly disparate concepts can be the key to that “Eureka” moment. Your mind and imagination are the ultimate source for these nuggets of gold.

Stay tuned for part 2 …