We were all born with the gift to be creative. It was there inside all of us from the start. Unfortunately when growing up and graduating from school a lot of the natural creativety is gone. In school you get brownie points from criticising other students ideas, then you are seen as smart. When we start working we are expected to be creative again. And it can take some time to get the creative flow back.
I like this definition of innovation: “the successful exploitation of new ideas”.
All organisations need to work on improvements all the time, it’s from here many innovations will appear. Naturally people are working on continual improvements, and sometimes we are doing it consciously, which can be very effective. We need to think “What is the next big thing?” – open up our imagination and start picturing a better future in our mind.
A big part of innovation is to combine two exciting things into a new concept. Dancing with Stars, one of the most popular programs in the world, is a good example. You can see it in at least 38 countries. It’s a modern twist of of an old program from BBC ‘Come Dancing’ which aired on the BBC from 1949-1998. Then it was a ballroom dance competition. By adding celebrities to the program, plus a lot of glamour you had a concept that’s appealing all over the world.
I believe innovation and creativity starts within you. And here are some of my thoughts to help you boost your own abilities:
- To be able to open up your creative flow you have to find out what’s inspiring you – you are special, discover what makes you tick. Inspiration will normally not fell down from the sky, you have to go out and chase it! If I have a period where I don’t do what I enjoy, then my creative spirit dies a bit.
- Ideas comes and go. Get a scrap book and write them down, or maybe use a spreadsheet if that is better for you.
- Keep your body fit. That will help you when you are working on new ideas, your mind will be clearer if you have been for a walk, been to the gym or whatever you do to keep fit. The body, mind and spirit are connected, give them all a bit of energy and they will work better as a team.
- You can pick up a lot from books. When reading new books and learning new things you’ll open your mind.
- Be ambitious. Set up impossible goals, then you’ll start looking for a solution both unconsciously and with your conscious mind. Think about the guys who started Google, they wanted to organise all information on the web and make it accessible for everyone. That’s a very ambitious goal.
- Improve communication channels around you. It helps if you can talk and communicate with others when you are developing your ideas.
- Get some support buddies of very positive people. We all need encouragement when being creative and innovative. Get rid of the people who just want to take you down to their own low level.
Innovation is not invention. If an inventor discovers the “next big thing,” but is unable to find anyone to deliver it, then the next big thing remains undiscovered to the world. That is not innovation. Innovations has to be spread and used by others. If not, that is a secret and secrets will not change the world.
Now I am on my way out for a walk so I can have a creative day.