How to be Lucky

Sometimes you have good luck and sometimes you have bad luck. But do you have a choice? Can you make your own luck? Dr. Richard Wiseman has studied why some people are lucky and others are not. He advises that there are four main traits that lucky people have that help them to be ‘lucky’. 1. They create, notice, and act upon chance opportunities that come up. 2. They make good decisions... Read More--

Try Weird Combinations

Marrying ideas has been around a long time. What is the greatest invention of all?  A strong contender is Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press. Before Gutenberg, all books had been laboriously copied out by hand or stamped out with woodblocks.   Around 1450 in Strasbourg, Gutenberg combined two ideas to invent a method of printing with moveable type. He coupled the flexibility of a coin punch with... Read More--

If you want a great idea, start with a great many ideas.

One of the problems with the Western education system is that it teaches that for most questions there is one correct answer. Examinations with multiple choice questions force the student to try to select the right answer and avoid the wrong ones. So when our students leave school they are steeped in a system that says find the ‘right answer’ and you have solved the problem. Unfortunately the real... Read More--

Who is Crushing Creativity in your Office?

Managers talk a lot about creativity, but often they’re the ones who unwittingly crush it. They can be dismissive of unorthodox ideas, especially if they come from outside the department or challenge conventional marketing policies. When I ask people what is hampering creativity and innovation in their organisations I often encounter a paradox. Senior managers feel frustrated that people are not... Read More--

If you want more Creativity give your office more Fun

If you want your department to be creative then make it a great place to have fun. Humor, playfulness and laughter go along with creativity. Innovation is a serious business but being serious does not help you get started. Humor involves challenging conventions, poking fun at taboos and coming up with the unexpected. For these reasons it is a natural companion for creativity. Ask people how we could... Read More--

Draw on the Expertise of Someone Who Works in a Completely Different Field

If you are planning a creative thinking session around a particular topic then one way to help displace your thinking and inspire ideas is to bring in an expert from an entirely unrelated business. A company had an issue with its sales force. Morale was low and team spirit was poor. Sales people complained about poor leads and poor commissions but the company directors were sure the real problems lay... Read More--

How to Encourage Creativity – the Magic Sentence

The easiest way to crush creativity is to find fault with new ideas which colleagues and subordinates bring forward. The more clever and more experienced you are, the easier it is to shoot holes in any proposal You can show your superior intelligence and highly honed management analysis skills by pointing out all the flaws in their proposals. As all the experts pointed out to Marconi, radio waves travel... Read More--

Six Great Ways to Ruin a Brainstorm

The brainstorm is the most popular group creativity exercise in business. It is quick, easy and it works. But many organizations have become frustrated with brainstorms and have stopped using them. They say brainstorms are old-fashioned and no longer effective. But the real reason for the frustrations is that the brainstorms are not facilitated properly. A well-run brainstorm is fun and energetic.... Read More--

An Ideas Searcher can Help Managers Innovate

Most managers are very busy.  They are rushed off their feet with a myriad of deadlines, objectives and demands from their bosses, their colleagues and their teams. They operate in a fast moving, analytical, judgmental world of data, facts, discussions, arguments, negotiations and decisions.  So it is hard to switch modes when the time comes for them to work with the team to think creatively and... Read More--

The Wrong Answer is the Right Answer to a Different Question

A good way to start a brainstorm is to deliberately look for wrong answers. Set the challenge and then ask people to think of crazy ideas which are just plain wrong. Then take some of the more outrageous wrong ideas and kick them around. People will be outside their comfort zone and they will approach the original challenge from a new perspective. Each crazy notion can be provocative and stimulating.... Read More--