Inotivity has been on an extended road trip. Less Hunter Thompson and more Thomas Edison.
Our team has traveled to Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Nashville and Chicago working with organizations and companies on boosting their creativity and innovation. In Chicago, we helped a client generate 750 ideas in less than 30 minutes.
In DC, my partner company (Seriously Creative) and I met with government officials on how to develop an innovation mindset as they work and develop initiatives for the coming year.
In Nashville, an organization discovered that their newest initiative was reconnecting with members on what they already offer. Members were asking for services that already had but hadn’t promoted.
So what did we learn on the road?
1. People are smart. Their ideation techniques are not.
It is remarkable to see the depth of ideas and creativity coming from companies and organizations that aren’t typically lauded for their creativity. We discovered that beyond brainstorming – few companies use other techniques and methods for creating and sharing ideas. There are literally hundreds of techniques that can help accelerate idea production.
2. The word innovation is overused, and under-stood.
If you look at Fast Company’s list of the world’s most innovative companies — it’s going to be heavy with technology companies. This is the great, shiny bauble of the innovation world. They are the most disruptive and pervasive innovations today. But if you define innovation as ideas that create value. That levels the playing field. So, you don’t need a faster chip. You need a faster, more useful idea. It’s innovation for the rest of us.
3. People are looking in the same old places for new ideas.
We often talk about looking beyond your field or silo for new ideas. But we’ve found that people are looking at the same industry web sites, magazines and journals. It’s the same pool that your competitors are diving into. What aren’t you looking at? What can a CPA learn from NASCAR? What can a city planner discover from the Westminster Dog Show? You’d be amazed. It’s the collision of the disconnected that makes unique connections.
Ideas are not mandates.
Executives are used to getting things done. They want to know if something is actionable and viable. That’s part of the managerial DNA. But in ideation it’s a killer. It adds a lot of weight to ideas that just in the greenhouse stage. I say, this is an idea. It’s something planted. You can decide when and how to harvest it.
Live in the wow. (Especially if the rest of your organization doesn’t. You lead by example.)
Airport food is really expensive.
- How to Increase Your Creativity Quotient (creativeconsiderations.wordpress.com)
- Beyond Brainstorming. It’s not either or, it’s and (creativitycentral.squarespace.com)
- Innovative Ideas Are A Dime A Dozen (informationweek.com)
- What Pinterest Teaches Us About Innovation (marketingprofs.com)