Tag Archives: creativity

The Joy of Six – Creative Tips for Idea Generation

JBMG_5500aBy Jeff Bowman

Without creativity, small businesses lose their competitive advantage in a tight marketplace.  The ability to review, quickly analyze, gather feedback and make creative decisions that impact the way you do business is critical for smaller businesses.

The problem is that those of us who consider ourselves creative are often stifled by others around us, or our managers, who feel that the only good idea is their own. In a previous blog, I wrote about Bad Bosses, and their tendency to limit the amount of free thinking that their employees can do, which in turn limits the potential growth and development of great business concepts.

In the Creativity workshops I facilitate, it is quite surprising that most people don’t think of themselves as creative at all.  In fact they believe they may possess an infertile mind when it comes to the weird and wonderful. It only takes one or two questions before they realize just how creative they can be, when they are “allowed” and in fact encouraged.

Here are 6 quick tips that will assist you in performing mental origami.jb gami

  1. Do not accept a single answer to any problem, there are always alternatives.
  2. Do not accept what has always been accepted as correct.  Sacred cows make great steaks!
  3. Always ask yourself “What if” instead of “Why can’t …”
  4. Don’t be afraid to play. Be silly. Bring out the child within.  Kids can play for hours with the simplest of toys because they make it up as they go along. Don’t you wish someone would tell you to “just go out and play”
  5. If it ain’t broke …. You aren’t trying hard enough to break it!
  6. Don’t take negative comments about your ideas to heart.  Those naysayers didn’t go through the same creative process you did, so they can’t possibly see all the great positive aspects.  I call it the “you’ll fall off the edge of the world” syndrome

All of us are creative in some way.  You can’t tell me that you don’t have a creative thought every single day! The true nature of the creative person is shown by what they do with the idea, not just letting it die on the vine. Using the six tips above every day will allow your fertile mind to be bountiful.  The most important tip is #6. The Joy of Six!  As I was once told “premature evaluation prevents conception”!

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Creative thinking or idea theft

By Jeff Bowman

keyholeI once had an idea, a really great original idea.  It occurred to me as I stepped out of the shower one morning – a better and quicker way to dry off. I still have it, and may have it for many years to come.

“Business Philosopher” Jim Rohn said “labour gives birth to ideas.”

I teach a course on Creativity for businesses that have reached the point where independent thinking is either missing in action or not encouraged.  We have all heard that there isn’t much new under the sun – any single thought you have has probably been thought of in another place and time by many other people. Recycled products turn retro. New fashion relies on vintage fashion. New movies rely on old television shows.

But, if you follow through and make the idea a reality and stamp it with your signature, then it is deemed to be yours.

Then again, there are people who will wait in the weeds and essentially steal someone’s idea and make it their own. Success breeds success so why reinvent the wheel? These people usually come undone when they are required to demonstrate ability or creativity to a client.

If you pass off someone else’s Grade nine project with your name on it and get caught, you fail. The same is true in business and the results may be more damaging.  So, be careful what you “think”!

“An original idea. That can’t be too hard.  The library must be full of them.” Stephen Fry.

So where do you draw the line in your business?

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