Creativity

Evaluating Ideas

Generating a large number of ideas is a key part of the creative thinking process. The more ideas you come up with the more likely you are to find something truly innovative. But having a long list of ideas creates an issue. How do you select the best ideas to carry through to implementation? Have you ever been in a ...

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Constraining the Possibilities

Working on a client project last week, an unusual constraint was placed on the project. The marketing lead for the multimedia presentation dictated there be no narration on the 3 to 5 minute piece. As each creative team member pointed out how narration would be such a help in getting the message across, he would reiterate his statement, “That’s great. ...

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Innovators Welcome Ambiguity

Brilliant thinkers and innovators are very comfortable with ambiguity – they welcome it. Routine thinkers like clarity and simplicity; they dislike ambiguity. There is a tendency in our society to reduce complex issues down to simple issues with obviously clear solutions. We see evidence of this in the tabloid press. There have been some terrible crimes committed in our cities. ...

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Brainstorming Breakthroughs Require the Right Question!

There’s a simple reason why so many brainstorm sessions are a waste of time. The problem statement being pitched to participants is the wrong one. This is not surprising – especially when you consider how little time most facilitators put into preparing for a session. Here’s what happens: The person who calls the session is usually scrambling – overwhelmed, over-caffeinated, ...

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Do You Have a Creative Imbalance?

Being in the transportation industry (as I was) meant a lot of time spent thinking about balance, and not being too heavy inbound or outbound. In moving things (or people), the ideal state is the same number arriving and departing. If you’re too heavy outbound, it means you have lots of things going out, but very few coming in. Heavy ...

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Don't Demolish Your Own Innovation

Innovative ideas – the kind that can transform your company – are inadvertently being demolished. When first presented, many ideas meet wrecking-ball comments such as: “How’s that going to work?” “Good luck getting that done!” “We don’t have time for something like that.” And the classic, “Doesn’t work… Trust me… We tried that years ago.” We’ve all heard (or perhaps ...

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Brainstorming is More Than Ideation

Most people think brainstorming sessions are all about ideas – much in the same way that Wall Street bankers think life is all about money. While ideas are certainly a big part of brainstorming, they are only a part. People who rush into a brainstorming session starving for new ideas will miss the boat (and the train, car, and unicycle) ...

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Innovation? – Just Do It

I’m constantly amazed by all the talk about innovation that I hear within many organizations, and how little real action is taken. It’s time, my friends, to gird up your loins and take action. Let’s borrow the motto from Nike and decide to “Just Do It.” If you are waiting for the sign from above (by that I mean your ...

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Four Perfect Situations for Brainstorming

While there are innumerable reasons for hosting a brainstorming session, the purpose for meeting can be summarized with four situations. They are the need to meet to: Fix Something Broken / Problem Solving Grow Something Get Ideas / Fill Idea Pipeline Innovate / Make Something New (1) Fix Something Broken / Problem Solving This is what is traditionally thought of ...

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