Sparking Creativity and Innovation

A few weeks ago, my wife and I found ourselves in need of a new vehicle after our previous one died on us unexpectedly. We immediately started our research online in hopes of purchasing a well kept, used Prius (a vehicle we had hoped to purchase one day given the current gas prices!). After visiting numerous sites and speaking with friends who had purchased Prius’ in the past, all we could think about was the Prius. We soon became really familiar with all its features, pricing models, customer reviews, and even warranty options. Whenever we were out, we saw countless people driving one. It was as if Toyota had secretly planted Prius’ all over our city in order to convince us of our need to purchase. Needless to say, the Prius was on our minds.

I think that sparking creative ideas works in an analogous fashion. Just as we anticipated to see the Prius around town, creative ideas become visible if we choose to look for them.

It’s not so much that we work extra hard to develop a process that births creativity. Rather, it’s more important that we posture ourselves to carry a mindset that welcomes and looks for creative and innovative thoughts. As Louis Pasteur once said, “Chance favors (only) the prepared mind.”

Unfortunately, many have given up on the notion that they are creative or innovative. They choose not to see the great ideas that swirl around them in their environment. They lose out because they turn a blind eye to opportunity.

Do You See What I See?

  • Take a moment this week to pause and look around you. Are there things that can help trigger creative or innovate thoughts about the things you’re working on?
  • Invite yourself into new, unexpected environments to explore how others unlike you think about the world. Seemingly unrelated concepts often need to clash to spark creativity and innovation.
  • Breathe and write down “random” things that come to mind when you consider your ideas. Overtime, you’ll discover some interesting connections.
  • Watch a film or listen to music outside of what you’re use to. Take some notes on what you like and dislike about what you’re experiencing. Explain why you feel the way you do.
  • Look at Pinterest (yes, Pinterest) boards on design and creativity. It’s a fun, simple way of visually exploring thoughts.

Creative innovation is all around us. Do you see it?

Read more from Charles here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charles T. Lee

Charles T. Lee

I'm the Chief Idea-Maker of Ideation Consultancy, Inc., an idea agency that specializes in turning good ideas into remarkable brands by developing innovative business design, strategic infrastructure, strong brand presence, memorable visual identities & design, creative marketing, new media PR strategies, and web presence.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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