Recently I gave a workshop on creative thinking and innovation to a group of leaders of a well known brand in China.
I was particularly keen to talk to the creative director and I asked him about his process for generating ideas or solving problems.
He said he shut the door and waited for inspiration to strike.
I was intrigued by this approach.
It no doubt works for him but i felt that this is too passive.
What if inspiration does not strike?
I also find it too stressful.
My suggestion is this:
My experience is that I generate my best ideas when I am actively searching for new solutions.
Hence when I work with a group or team I place greater emphasis on changing behaviour.
And what is one key innovative behaviour?
Searching for ideas.
You have a problem and you go out and search for a new idea.
It could be by visiting a retailer or a competitor or talking to some customers.
It’s a proactive process.
And you will often find the solution in the most unexpected of places.
The important point is this — if you think about creativity, ideation and innovation as a set of behaviours, everyone can play.
The great news is that everyone can learn and practice these.