Are you one that settles on things easily? How about on technology projects? If you are you looking to improve your design creativity skills so as to impact your breakthrough thinking, keep reading.
You are what you settle for.
Don’t believe you are creative in design? Creativity is often defined as the ability to connect ideas that are seemingly unconnectable. Connecting ideas are how new ideas and the best designs originate … it is the basis for creativity1
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Contrary to what most people believe, design creativity is not limited to the gifted ones of the population. It can be taught, nurtured, and enhanced. So what are the creativity skills you need to acquire and/or develop to improve breakthrough creativity in technology design projects? Check out these 14 ways to give you a hand:
Technology projects … start with why
Technology for technology’s sake is dangerous. Highly effective teachers who use technology always have a reason for using new technology tools. Whether it saves them time, improves learning outcomes, or helps with lesson planning, highly effective teachers always start with the why.
Network with people in different fields
Go out of your way to meet people with vastly different backgrounds and perspectives from your own. Examine different views as a means to expand your knowledge and stretch your thinking.
Go to breakfast or lunch with someone new every week.
Technology projects … adapt easily
Technology is constantly changing, and the classroom environment will be drastically different in 2 years. Understanding the big picture is key.
Consider an example of Internet Privacy
Running a business today almost certainly means having a digital presence, and being connected to the Internet. While the benefits of this transformation are many, the Internet privacy and security issues are still a daily challenge, with many solutions in the marketplace to address them.
Now internet service providers can sell the browsing habits of their customers to advertisers. It is a move which critics charge will fundamentally undermine consumer privacy in the US.
Yes, internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are free to track all your browsing behavior and sell it to advertisers without consent. ISPs have access to literally all of your browsing behavior – they act as a gateway for all of your web visits, clicks, searches, app downloads and video streams.
This represents a huge treasure trove of personal data, including health concerns, shopping habits, and porn preferences. ISPs want to use this data to deliver personalized advertising.
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Luck and chance have always played a role in creativity in design, haven’t they? There is no doubt, technology has transformed human experience. We are no longer separated by time and space but are largely working off of the same massive database. The sum total of human knowledge is merely a few clicks away. Domains are no longer hidden behind barriers of circumstance or tradition but are accessible to anyone with a search engine.
And it is not just information that has become accessible, but personal contact. Whether through social media or web video conferences, it’s far easier to people to meet and collaborate than ever before in human history. Searching the domain is no longer a matter of chance. Technology and information access through the internet have redefined the process.
Technology projects ideas … mixing and remixing
Do you believe there is a difference between knowledge and information? I certainly do. Knowledge is personal. I may know how to play the piano or to get to the store, but transferring that knowledge to another can be a cumbersome affair.
Information, on the other hand, is a storable entity. We can store and transfer it with any level of accuracy we choose, which makes it easy to combine with other information. In fact, it’s become so easy to combine ideas through information that we’ve come to think of mashups as trivial. That’s because combining ideas no longer takes any significant skill.
Connect the dots
Connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields.
Imagine how someone from a different industry would look at your challenge from an entirely new perspective. What is different?
Most of us who use technology today are innovators or early adopters. Embracing (not fighting) change is key. The world hates change yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.
Observe things around you
Carefully watch things around you to help gain insights into, and ideas for, new ways of doing things. Pay particular attention to areas outside your natural areas of interest.
Pick a business you admire to observe and follow. Learn all you can about the what and the how.
What ideas can you transfer and enhance?
Related post: 14 Ways to be Creative on Technology Projects
Share often and then share some more
Technology has opened the door for collaboration beyond our walls. A person in Romania can now collaborate with someone here is the United States.
Knowledge is power, but it is also free (and it should be). Technology lovers share best practices, which benefits everyone (which is the point!)
Never stop questioning
Ask questions to understand how things really are, why they are that way, and how they might be changed or disrupted. Brainstorm questions about the problem.
Create a list of 30 questions and pick the best 5 to explore further.
Technology cannot work properly if there is not buy-in from the majority of us. First and foremost, there is nothing worse than having a leader not embrace technology. Secondly, it is imperative that you show the value of technology.
Think ahead and be thorough
How are you going to present new technology to others without explaining the need to embrace change. The highly effective designers who use technology already know the answers to any question, and they have concrete examples showing its effectiveness.
Increase your caring
Those designers who use technology typically are the ones who can’t sleep at night because they are so excited about new ideas, and are thinking of ways to engage others with them. \
They don’t just care; they actively care, and they embrace technology, not because it makes their job easier, but because it allows them to make a greater impact.
Experiment and prototype
Constantly visit new places, try new things, seek new information and understanding, and learn from new experiences.
Join new social/professional activities beyond your normal groups and spheres of influence.
The bottom line takeaways
Remember to practice these design skills as well as creative convergence, the ability to discover new relationships between different ideas to form new ideas.
Look for ways to combine these skills in new and different ways. Don’t be afraid to fail … stretch yourself and your thinking.
What are your thoughts?
Need some help in finding ways to grow your customers? Such as creative ideas to help the differentiation with potential customers? Or perhaps finding ways to work with other businesses?
Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.
Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is completely up to you. But believe in the effectiveness of collaborative innovation. And put it to good use in adapting to changes in your business environment.
It’s up to you to keep improving your learning and experience with innovation and creativity efforts. Lessons are all around you. In this case, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.
When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.
Try. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.
Are you devoting enough energy to improving your continuous learning for yourself and your team?
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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