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A crash course in creativity

Creativity is a key skill to develop as an entrepreneur. Creativity allows you to think outside the box, find smart solutions for problems and see opportunities where others would see constraints.

 

So, how do we unlock our creativity and innovation?

 

In this 18 min video from TEDx Stanford, Tina Seelig gives us valuable tips on how to stimulate and unlock our creativity and innovation through a model defined as our Innovation Engine. 

 

It consists of 6 pillars that are both internal and external :

 

Working on ourselves (our inner game)

 

1) Using our imagination : 3 ways to increase our imagination

 

1.1) Framing and reframing problems :

 

The way you ask questions define the answers you get.

Ex. Q: Sum of 5+5? A:10 vs Q: What are the 2 numbers that can add up to 10? A: Infinite

Jokes are a great way to practice framing and reframing problems as there is always a switch of frame in a joke. 

 

1.2) Connecting and combining ideas : Unlocking some interesting ideas.

 

You can put things together that are normally not common in the same frame. For example, combining breakfast and lunch to create a brunch. 

 

1.3) Challenging assumptions :

 

You can use the contents of a thrash can, which usually has a negative value, to create something of value like a nice patchwork from old clothes.

 

2) Knowledge : Toolbox for your imagination

 

We can learn things by going to school, reading but another powerful way is just by paying attention to the world around us.

Very often, we don’t even see problems that we could solve and solutions that have always been in front of us.

We may go out out to locations we’ve been before and see them with fresh eyes.

 

3) Attitude : Mindset, motivation and drive to solve problems. 

 

Most people see themselves as puzzle builders and are stuck if they are missing one or two pieces of the puzzle but true entrepreneurs see themselves as quilt makers. They use all the resources they have and create something truly surprising.

 

Working on the external elements

 

4) Habitat : People you work with, the rules, the rewards, the constraints, the incentives, the physical space ….

 

The space we’re in tells us a story and can foster our imagination. Some of the most successful companies like Google have a playful, relaxed environment that encourage innovation.

 

5) Resources : All the things that we have access to.

 

We often think of things like money but we can also look at the natural resources, processes we have in place, the culture we’re in …

 

6) Culture : It affects how each of us think. It’s like the background music of every community, family or organization.

 

You can start anywhere on this model to get your innovation going. 

You can start by setting up the culture, you can start by building your base of knowledge, changing your mindset or creating the habitat to foster creativity.

 

Each of the levers of creativity are interwoven and work together. For example, if we have more knowledge, we can access more resources. If we have more resources we can have more knowledge. If we have the right mindset, we can increase our imagination and be creative. 

 

Everyone has the key to their innovation engine. It’s up to you to turn it on.

 

Check out the training section for the full course. 

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