Would you like to be innovative? Of course you would. Why wouldn't you be. It's fun, exciting and you could change the world for the better. All you need is an idea, right. Well sort of. You need an idea that is going to really appeal to people. It has to be awesome but also fulfil a need, a strong need. So... Here are 5 questions for you to think about in your quest for innovation. We'll call it the Who, What, When, Where and Why of innovation.
How often do you spend reflecting? How often do you spend reflecting on specifically how and why you do things the way you do? Megacognition is defined as cognition about cognition, or knowing about knowing. It's a concept that I think is very important in terms of creativity and improving it. Whilst there are activities you can do to improve your creative thinking. If you really want to improve you need to move up a level.
That's so crazy it just might work. How often have you had a thought along those lines. Or was it more like this. "That so crazy. It's silly. Ok, what else could we try." We tend to dislike things that are different. As far as ideas go, those that fall into the crazy category also have a habit of being quite different. But sometimes that's exactly what we need. Completely different thinking that really shakes the boat.
I ask a lot of people about their creative ideas and projects they are working on. Some people are working on some quite funky things. Many have awesome ideas but aren't doing anything with them. When I ask those people why they aren't working on turning these ideas into something I get a range of answers. If you ask yourself similar questions, what answers do you get?
I recently recieved an enquiry from someone who wished to get into IT, programming to be more specific, and wanting to know what they can do to prepare themselves. It's always great to meet people that are pro-active. Read on to see my response. Although some areas are specific to programming, in general the advice is good advice for everyone.
This week we haven't got an article as such but instead an example of some really funky creativity. At Siggraph in 1991 Loren Carpenter demonstrated an interactive interface that many people could use simultaneously. Each person was given a paddle which was red on one side and green on the other. You pointed a side at the screen and it would register your vote.
Wouldn't it be awesome if we could just say "Hey I need a really good idea for X", brainstorm for a bit and then end up with a great idea. This is rarely the way it works. Creativity needs time to simmer. Your ideas also need time to grow. Sometimes you have great ideas waiting to come out but you are just not ready yet. Great ideas lie on a path and you have to travel down it before you can find them.
Life these days is crazy. It's hectic. It's busy. And it's only getting worse. You constantly have more demanding your attention and more information barraging your senses. In some ways this is great for creativity. The more information you have, the more ingredients to mix and match and make your creations from. That won't happen by itself however. Read on to see what you may be missing.
In my work as an educator I have noticed a worrying trend. More and more, students are coming to rely on the internet and other sources to provide answers for them. They almost expect to be spoon fed what they need to know. I am assuming that this phenomenon is not just limited to students either. This is a dangerous path to head down and has some serious consequences for creative thinking.
This week I would like to pose a question.
I'm of the firm belief that before you can help someone to be more creative you have to create in them a desire to want to be more creative. So the question is:
What are your experiences in inspiring others to want to become highly creative?
Surely nothing can be better than best. By its very definition best is something of which no other thing can be better. Well, just like the man who proclaims it can't be done is often interrupted by someone doing it, the man brave enough to state that this is the best is often interrupted by someone doing it better. This may seem like madness and madness it may be. But like many other tidbits of madness, there is method to it so read on and find out why better really is better than best.
This week is a bit of a rant with my education hat on but if you bear with me you'll see it does tie in with creativity. There has been a bit of talk lately regarding the introduction of laptops and tablets into classes on a one to one basis. The gist has been that they have done very little to improve grades and may in fact hinder learning. I don't think we are in any position to comment yet. Read on and all shall be revealed.
Big improvements often come from small changes. Minor tweaks in the way you do things set the foundation for powerful changes in your ability. If you want to be creative, make that highly creative, then there are two qualities that you need. They are actually easy to develop and you can build them into habits with little effort.
Do you have a tendency to worry? And do you, in fact, worry about how your worrying may be impacting your ability to be creative? Were you not actually thinking about that at all but now I've brought it to your attention you fear you may have to worry about it? Well unfortunately I don't have a silver bullet answer, but I do have some ideas that may help you out. Read on to find out more.
If you've been a regular visitor to our site you'll have noticed that our games are always based on random words. If you're not a regular visitor, you should be. Join us, it's fun and you'll improve your creativity. But anyways, back to the task at hand. Why do we use random words as the basis for our games? The answer is that words are a near universal medium for sharing ideas. It's more than that however so read on.
A recent IBM study found that 60% of CEO's saw creativity as the most important leadership quality. Leadership and creativity are two traits that have a hard time playing together though. People don't like change and are fearful of failure. But without change and failure, how can you have creativity? The modern leader, it seems, is tasked with changing things for the better while not actually changing things. So how do you go about doing it?
Take a minute to think about how you would encourage creative thinking. Would you set narrow boundaries or wide boundaries? Normally, yes, if we wanted to encourage creativity we would want people to ignore the boundaries they set themselves and roam freely towards new ideas. To do that, though, sometimes we need to set some strict boundaries or limits to help that happen. It may seem counterintuitive but we often need to restrict peoples movements in some areas to force them to be free in others.
You don't have to like Apple products but you can't deny that they have had a dramatic impact on the technology landscape. An important factor in how a company performs is the culture that exists there. The beliefs that they hold and their general approach will play a big role in what they achieve and the products they create. Companies such as Apple have been particularly good at creating an environment where creative thinking can shine and is encouraged.
Powerful brainstorming in invaluable. If you and your team can come up with better ideas then you put yourself in a much stronger position. Realising dramatic improvements in your brainstorming sessions is also not very hard. What we are aiming for here is getting away from just saying "Hey, let's come up with some ideas." and heading towards creating an environment ripe for awesome ideas to blossom.