5 Skills for Discovering Creative Ideas

Consider the talents of the following two groups who were asked these three questions:

  • How many of you are good singers?
  • How many of you are good dancers?
  • How many of you are good artists?

About 2 percent of the first group responded positively to each of these three questions. That’s a typical response of most leadership teams.

But it’s possible to find a second group in almost any community who would give nearly 100 percent positive responses. Surprised?

Ask any group of first graders these three questions, and the children will respond with an enthusiastic “Yes!” to each one.

All children are creative – they’re born that way!

What happened to the creative gene that was so alive in our childhoods?

It would seem that as we leave childhood, we stop believing in the power of dreams. We stop taking risks and pursuing ideas.

It’s time to recover the creativity of a child – but in an adult way.

Vijay Govindarajan and Jatin Desai, writing for HBR.org, suggest five power skills to help you rediscover creativity:

  1. Develop Creative Discontent. The best intrapreneurs are never satisfied with the status quo; they ask big questions and challenge themselves and others to find big ideas.
  2. Use Convergence Thinking. Convergence is not simply about combining ideas and technology; it is a primary leadership competency that allows organizations to design the right future.
  3. Find Pivots. Change creates opportunities for innovation, and if the amount of change is disproportionate in size, there is opportunity for movement in a completely new direction — a pivot.
  4. Overturn Orthodoxies. Challenging orthodoxies can provide clarity on existing paradigms worth changing to improve your business model, products, services, processes, customer experience, or brand.
  5. Think Frugally. The primary driver of frugal thinking is scarcity of time and resources. Frugal thinking forces individuals to be highly creative just to accomplish routine jobs.

Teach these five power skills to the leaders and top talent in your organization. They can help keep your innovation pipeline full. By practicing these skills, your team will improve critical and creative thinking skills, leading to many game‐changing opportunities for your organization.

>> For additional help in creating innovative ideas, download our free Sums book summary on “The Ten Faces of Innovation” here.
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Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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What say you? Leave a comment!

pastorjameswheeler — 07/16/14 9:43 am

Pushing to pursue big questions and big ideas consistently - self imposing scarcity is a hugely underestimated asset in leadership today. Thanks for getting the word out on these!

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
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