In Chris Brady’s classic leadership talk, The Journey of a Good Idea: How to Be More Creative, he explains how good ideas (and the creativity to devise them) can become life altering solutions for the world.
Creativity has two parts:
1) Coming up with the idea
2) Getting the idea to come to life
“Creativity impacts everything that you do. Learning to be more creative can really improve your life!” – Chris Brady
First- How to Be More Creative
- Be a prodigious noticer.
- Expose yourself to widely differing disciplines so that you can make new combinations.
- Slow down (so you can be more observant)
- Creative “types” sometimes need to haul off and do nothing because that gives them the chance to think up something.
- Sometimes you need to go slow in order to go fast.
- Go dark.
- Shut off the phone, get away from your laptop, turn off the TV, don’t turn on the car radio, etc.
- Become a subject matter expert.
- Reduce things down to their essential core. Keep the main thing the main thing.
- Don’t waste your life on dumb stuff. Be regular and orderly in your life so that you can be violent and original in your work.
- Hang around the right people.
- Regularly break routine and expose yourself to something new as often as you can.
- Steal ideas from everywhere. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes. Emulate, steal, and copy until you get your own vibe going from all of the input.
- Be adventurous.
- At a roadblock, ask yourself this question, “what would make the best story?”
- Involve your heart.
- Creativity comes as much from your heart as it does from your head.
- There isn’t a more productive activity you can do to rearrange your paradigm than through traveling.
- Create for the sheer joy of it and ignore your critics.
Second- Getting the Idea to Come to Life
- Realization: You see the problem to be fixed, clearly, and perhaps for the first time.
- Make sure you have invested the thought time to clearly identify and classify the problem, truly understanding it as thoroughly as possible. Be sure to work toward the root cause and avoid being misled by the symptoms.
- Mechanization: The method by which you “think it up.”
- Take steps to actively generate possible solutions. This may involve gathering with others, making sketches, having a brainstorming session, benchmarking the competition, or just playing around with things.
- Assimilation: The combining of previous ideas into a new one.
- Realize that most new ideas are just combinations of previous ones, and ask questions such as, “What could we combine that has never been combined before?” and “What do we already have available or have already done that could be synthesized into something new here?”
- Inspiration: The catalystic spark or insight that puts it together for the first time, and the desire to change the status quo that pushes the process along.
- Provide motivation to yourself and your team by visualizing and vision-casting success and a new, desired reality that will be brought about by the solving of this problem or the creation of a breakthrough idea.
- Germination: Most ideas are not hatched fully formed, instead, they need to grow and blossom under more thought and consideration (and even discussion).
- Provide healthy nurturing and incubation for your ideas, allowing them to be considered openly without having to survive the negative attacks of “It’ll never work” and “Not my idea.” Keep egos and reality tests away from your new ideas when they are young and give them time to morph into something real.
- Elation: The passion that arises when pursuing a real improvement or breakthrough.
- Enjoy the process and refuse to become frustrated, which often shuts down creative channels. Instead, foster the enthusiasm of a treasure hunter nearing the red X on a map.
- Confirmation: When you first begin to realize you’ve got it, and evidence suggests that it really will work.
- Carefully test your new ideas to verify their validity, and have an open process for analyzing how effective they might actually be in the real world.
- Dissemination: The act of forcing your good idea down other people’s throats!
- Have a process for sharing your idea outward into your organization (or the world) that allows it to first be received by those who stand the most to gain by it, thereby gaining momentum and strength before it attracts critics and detractors.
You don’t always need to create the good idea, you just need to know how to spot one and carry it across the finish line. By following some of these simple steps, you will be able to create your way to the life you’ve always wanted!
(Italicized text was transcribed directly from Brady’s audio – Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady)