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Monday, November 19, 2012

7 Ways to Outsmart Your Brain And Be More Innovative | Stephen Shapiro, Innovation Excellence

"Innovation is about change," Shapiro writes in this blog:
It is about doing something different than you did previously. It is about trying something that you have not done before, and therefore may feel is a danger to your survival.
He continues by describing seven ways the brain's survival instinct prevents innovation. He then provides seven solutions to counteract those challenges.

Here's a summary of his solutions:
  1. Innovation is not just about creating something new and different. It should solve a problem that people have. ...
  2. [D]on’t stop with the obvious answers. Keep pushing until you are out of ideas and then still push forward. ...
  3. Ask better questions. Einstein reputedly said, “If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions.” ...
  4. Work with people who are not like you. Find people with different backgrounds, personality styles, and interests. Appreciate their contribution to you and your professional efforts. ...
  5. [G]et someone to poke holes in your logic. Don’t go to the same people for input. Seek out people who you suspect would reject the idea. ...
  6. Sometimes you need to purposefully retrain the brain. Attend conferences unrelated to your work. Read magazines from different industries. ...
  7. Quiet that [judgmental] part of the brain through meditation, yoga, showering or any other relaxing activity. This allows you to gain access to the creative parts of your brain. ...
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Shapiro's article is featured today, Nov. 19, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Creativity Connections--available at the Creativity tab above and by free email subscription.

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