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Secrets of Creativity and Innovation

Posted by Oren Pardes | Posted in Life, marketing, Relationships | Posted on 22-09-2011

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Although we are all different, and each unique, sacred, and holy (as a result), nobody starts out as an “original”. Neither does anything else – including ideas. Nothing is ever really created or completely “new”.

All that we are, have, (can) do, and know is based on what came before.

    The man is most original who can adapt from the greatest number of sources.
    ~ Thomas Carlyle

Everything is essentially a “remix” or variation of an already existing model or theme. Creativity and innovation is seldom about adding more pieces – but connecting, uniting, and integrating until something new emerges (and functions better). Innovation starts with appreciating your assets and then combining, refining, and redefining – “upcycling” from “cradle to cradle”.

Innovation does not occur in a vacuum. Creation requires input, influence, and a frame of reference. Content requires context. Only them can individual ingredients be utilized or understood (as holons – whole parts of the whole).

Before we evolve, we learn and grow by copying. We can’t produce anything new until we are fluent in the language of our domain. We need copying to build a foundation of knowledge and understanding. Then we can synergize.

The 3 Major Elements of Creativity:

    1. Copy
    2. Transform
    3. Combine.


A few ways to start thinking more creatively include:

    * defining the purpose and intent
    * masterminding and brainstorming
    * using both divergent and convergent thinking
    * asking both open (fishing) and closed (shooting) questions
    * using provocation, extraction, and random entry
    * exploring and organizing possibilities and alternatives
    * considering what believed to wrong, false, or impossible
    * speculating and asking what if
    * using parallel lateral thinking – and experimentation
    * changing criteria or value selection (hierarchy)
    * looking from multiple perspectives
    * systematically switch (all 6) thinking hats
    * gathering additional information
    * allowing emotional and intuitive responses
    * looking for patterns and relationships
    * looking for similarity and difference (compare and contrast)
    * zooming in and zooming out (increasing or decreasing scope)
    * categorizing and uncategorizing (generalities and exceptions)
    * considering cause and effect, requirements and results
    * inverting (turning things inside out) or reversing
    * developing analogies
    * extrapolating and transferring concepts and principles
    * building upon and extending
    * oversimplifying
    * differentiating and integrating aspects and options

Whether it’s problem solving, conflict resolution, design, or just exploration, using the above “secrets” should increase your creativity and innovation.

That’s the Pardes Perspective. What’s yours?

© 2011 – 2012, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

Oren Pardes

Oren Pardes has written 69 post in this blog.

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