It is simple … for leading innovation you must be a creative logical thinker. You must use more of the powerful real estate lobed between your two ears.
Check out our thoughts on building innovation.
For example, dump your digital devices, so that you can:
– go for a walk in the neighborhood, or nature park or botanical gardens, and just soak in all the multi-sensory impressions, as varied environmental stimuli enrich the brain;
– have face-to-face communication – dynamic interpersonal interaction – with folks;
– do mental arithmetic;
– let your fingers do your walking in dictionary or reference search;
– trust your instincts on road navigation;
– carry a memory jot-pad, for ideas on the fly, so as to leave your mind uncluttered;
Since as much as 90% of what we learned in a lifetime always come to us via visual cues, we should constantly enhance our perceptual sensitivity to the environment, according to information scientists.
So, more than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci was right when he said, use all our senses, especially our sense of sight.
Our power of observation depends on it.
Productive thoughts often have their origins in the combinatorial play and dynamics of sensory inputs from environmental cues.
In my view, our thinking cap is often governed by how far we can stretch our power of vision and imagination.
This goes for intelligence too; however, people seem to be more aware that intelligence is a muscle which needs to be exercised through research, reading and other cognitive activities.
How can you boost them, then? I will try to recommend some principles that work for me:
Leading innovation … are you logical or creative?
Forgetting an idea is a crime. If you don’t feel sorry about losing an idea, it’s even worse.
Whatever you do, wherever you are, when a good idea comes to mind, write it down. Use a notebook or a voice recorder, ignore the people who stare at you on the street or use your phone, pretending that you’re talking to someone, while you record your idea.
Don’t hesitate to wake up in the middle of the night only to take notes.
Afterward, organize your ideas on your computer. Structure them on files and folders, create hierarchies and prioritize them according to their importance, role causality, etc.
Logical vs. creative thinking … remove blockages
Acknowledge that there’s no such thing as a muse who has left you. The lack of inspiration is a pragmatic reality. Circumstantial.
Has it been a long time since you wrote that last poem of yours? Think about the changes that took place in your life. Perhaps your work environment became more stressful, and you are compelled to think in certain patterns. Or maybe somebody criticized you in a harsh manner, and you are starting to doubt yourself.
There also might be certain problems in your family, which push down creativity as a purpose on the list of your priorities. All these can easily get in the way of our creative process. That is why you need to take the initiative, by analyzing your situation and acting according to what is best for your creative mind.
If you are a creative person, creativity doesn’t simply disappear. Fortunately, after the removal of the disruptive factors, we usually return to our initial innovative state.
Both creative and logical … build a system of ideas
Anyone can have an idea or two. You only need a few at first. The most important thing is their cohesion, which is the way they are linked. If they are strongly bounded and headed towards a common goal, it will be easier to summon new ones. It is like you are building up a puzzle.
You already have some connectors from the incomplete interconnected pieces; therefore, you already know where to begin from when it comes to finding new pieces(elaborating new ideas).
Do you know that feeling when you are not hungry, but you start to eat, and as you do it, your appetite increases? It is the same thing, because thinking of ideas in a self-contained field establishes a sort of attraction mechanism between them, generating new ones.
Creativity is not just art, drawing, painting, music or writing. It’s every new and valuable connection you make with the world. Creativity should make you look at the world or interact with it in a whole new way.
So one of the first steps is to stop regarding everything around you as a series of unrelated events, or a bunch of individual items. MacGyver (sorry if I’ve misspelled him) was a perfect fictional example of expressing creativity with everything around him.
Keep your mind active
Just as we have control over our body, take control of your mind as well. If your mind wants to wander off, give it a destination to wander to.
Innovation is creativity with purpose
So once you exercise your mind and make it create connections between the less obvious, give those creations a purpose. So be curious. Learn everything you can, but not in a schoolish, academic kind of way.
Just let your mind remember whatever it likes. But, most importantly, don’t settle for the information you have just because you can live with it.
You don’t know what you don’t know
So if you want to innovate, you have to know what those before you already know. But don’t let that build walls around you. This is where those connections come in. Have fun with them. See where they take you.
Learn from mistakes
Stop getting angry when something doesn’t pan out. We have been bred by schools and other restrictive environments so that failure is the worst thing that can happen in a creative process.
But it makes you humble; it shows you’re in uncharted territory, which is perfect. Doing something no one else did means there’s hard work involved. So don’t get scared if you fail, get ridiculed or hit walls.
Try many new things
For several reasons. It makes you understand people you have nothing in common with. It makes you appreciate more the things you love doing; it gives you drive to continue. You might also end up liking some of them.
Every Tuesday you pick up a new book, go to a new restaurant, watch a movie you wouldn’t watch. Start small. After some time you will start doing bigger things, like visiting a new country every month or picking a new class every six months. We are a creature of habit, so use that to your advantage.
We are all creative, and we all try to make our way into the world by doing something different, by looking at something with a whole new set of eyes. Some of us do it knowingly, other by social pressure or by their subconscious. But the difference appears when people do it with meaning.
Don’t just paint if you want to paint. Put a part of you in it, make it say something about this tiny world we live in. If you want to invent something new, don’t make it just because it looks cool or because people will like it for a few years.
Make it change for the better, do it so that it makes room for more questions, more connections, more quests for things we don’t know.
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All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.
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Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Are you devoting enough energy continually improving your continuous learning?
Do you have a lesson about making your learning better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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