How to Grow New Ideas at Work
By Sandy Schroeder
Staying creative to come up with really new ideas requires us to “unsquare” the box whenever we can. Let yourself imagine things in a totally new way and then go with it.
Business Insider reminds us of the need for creative thinking by suggesting some new ways to go. They recommend a book by professors Dean Andy Boynton and Bill Fisher, “How to Find the Best Ideas and Make Them Happen.” Their book moves around the globe to spotlight leading thinkers and companies. Here are some of their suggestions.
Set aside time just to learn - Google calls this "20 Percent Time." One of their creations was Google News. This time is considered a seedbed for new discoveries. When you start it may seem too wide open, but as you continue you may find this wide open spot provides the ideas that help you do your best work.
Know what you are hunting - As you reach out for new ideas, keep in mind what you are trying to do. When you go through tons of information, you need to spot the ones that fit your work. Investment guru Warren Buffet says he tries to understand the companies that he invests in and avoid stocks that he does not understand.
Let some ideas simmer - You may come across great ideas that are so unusual that they need time to develop. Put those in a special category and let them simmer on the backburner. Later you may have found the information to make good use of them.
Keep a running list - As you start to accumulate new ideas, start a notebook or computer file to keep track of them to avoid losing them.
Cover all of the bases - When you are looking for totally new ideas, make sure you are open to all of the possibilities that come up. Company leaders often spend considerable time on the road checking out their competition's innovations.
Learn wherever you are - Sometimes the most creative ideas show up when you are out for the weekend or on vacation. You may see something from a totally different perspective and know just where you should apply it.
Keep an open mind - As we work we often slip into a groove that limits the way we think. In the interest of time we develop shortcuts and automatic responses. In contrast, when we are looking for new directions, we have to be willing to step away from our daily routines and look around. That’s when we may spot the new directions that we need.
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