Archive for the ‘Creativity and Innovation’ Category

Open the “Vault”of Your Ideas

Often when working with clients who say they want improvements in their lives, they often will say they ‘don’t know what those are.’ They “just know” that something is missing and they want more. As we explore, they find that they really do have an idea of what they want and realize those ideas have been lying dormant, almost locked up inside a vault they’ve created.

They seem surprised to uncover this but those thoughts have been pushed into their subconscious which, if not nurtured, will lie in waiting to be let out. Often, they will discover that they haven’t acted on them as they didn’t have the belief that their idea could be achieved so they just let it sit….and sit…..and sit. Until it starts to nag at them to be let out, i.e. the feeling that something is missing or they want more. Some can’t even explain what they’re feeling but they just know.

Feelings will arise first but it’s the thoughts we need to bring to the surface, which is when they become tangible and we now can face and do something about them. The fear of the unknown creates havoc in the brain which then soon spirals out of control, if allowed, leading to a host of emotional problems. To move through this:

  • begin to evaluate your thoughts and allow them to be seen (more tangible)
  • identify the threat they represent, or how high the value of them (high value and high threat equal high fear)
  • once uncovered, reframe each for its validity or real, and then focus on solutions you can take to for appropriately putting them where they need to be
  • visualize the positive outcome you want and write it down so it becomes real and a place where you can put your focus

Hiding out thoughts is a high level activity for the brain that leads to it performing poorly, as well as releasing toxic chemicals into your system that will make you feel bad. You do have a choice to keep your ideas and thoughts in the vault, where you’ll continue to feel frustrated about, or you can bring them to the surface and do something about them. Which do you choose?

Help for the Creative Mind

I am one of those who has this ability to come up with creative ideas and solutions; not just one or two but I can usually come up with 50 in some cases. While this may sound like a great idea, there are frustrations in staying on task and harnessing all that creativity.

A quick resource I’d like to pass along is the book, “The War of Art: Break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles,’ by Steven Pressfield (2002). The author focuses on how to “identify, defeat and unlock the inner battles of creativity” (Pressfield, 2002) and addresses those internal blocks to success. I highly recommend it.


Being Innovative

Innovation can be defined as “the process of creating new ideas and putting them into practice.” (Drucker, 1985).  Being innovative is a talent as well as a necessity in organizations or else systems and processes will grow stale.   Creating innovative products means to enhance goods or services to meet customer needs, while creating innovative processes results in new and better operations.

There are some steps to innovating, according to John Schemmerhorn and his colleagues (2011, pg. 419), which include:

1.  idea creation – this is done by being spontaneous and ingenious in the creative process;  updating an existing product or making a new one occur in this step

2. Initial experimentation – this is where the idea’s value and application are established and can be accomplished through sharing/testing it

3. Feasible determination – this step is where the practicality and viability of the new creation is established, typically in cost to make and manpower

4. Final application – now that the product or process is created, it is necessary to launch it

Getting organizational buy-in is a key step, which means that the innovator needs to focus more on the benefits from having the creation, i.e. product or process; having a ‘champion’ in your corner, if you are the innovator, is a necessity if you want to get it off the ground.  Enlisting your supervisor or a mentor will help as they can advise and even help to make your case.

As an creative/innovator, I know the value and benefits that can result; without it, we wouldn’t have computers or cell phones – heck, we wouldn’t have a lot of conveniences like appliances, cars and a massive list of other of things that make our lives easier.  Embracing innovation, either in yourself or within your work setting, is crucial and can further not only your career but your brand in your field.

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