Are you a great, innovative thinker? Do you want to be? Recent research shows that there are five keys to innovative thinking and that they are not innate talents hardwired into our DNA. Pretty much anyone can learn them (and I always thought I was special). So if you want to invent the next iPhone or Pet Rock, here are the five secrets to becoming a creative genius.
- Connect Ideas -- Take two or more things that already exist and combine them in new and unique ways.
- Actively Observe - Watch what people do and listen to what they say without any preconceived notion of what the answer is.
- Ask Questions - This is a skill that people don't practice enough. Asking the right questions that get deep is the key.
- Experiment and Optimize - The first internal combustion engine wasn't perfect. Your idea probably isn't either. Be ready to show it to a lot of people early and improve it quickly.
- Explore and Discover - How big is your world? Who do you talk to? What do you read? The more you experience, the more resources you'll have to draw from to develop new and innovative ideas.
That's it. Simple, huh? Tomorrow I'll demonstrate this practice with a new product idea on Free Idea Friday.