Stuck in an innovation rut? Here’s a technique that will help get those creative juices flowing again.
Give yourself this task: “What idea could I come up with that would get me fired?”
I’m not talking about spreading company gossip on Facebook or throwing up all over the CEO at the office summer party.
I’m talking about creating an idea for your brand that seems so patently absurd that it could get you fired.
By thinking in this way, going to the extreme opposite of what’s expected, you actually free up your thinking and might just come up with a nugget of an idea that could be refined into something more plausible, maybe even brilliant and highly marketable.
Here’s an example
Does this ever happen to you?
You (or someone in your organization) comes up with a new idea, and after an initial stage of euphoria and excitement, you are left with a sinking feeling of “Oh, sh*t”.
Your enthusiasm dwindles as you are filled with anxiety about what to do next. How do I turn this idea into action? How do I get it out of our heads and into the marketplace?
Perhaps these are some of the thoughts running through your mind:
- Getting ideas approved through our organization is an Olympic sport
- By the time everyone is on board, our competition will probably beat us to it
- It seems like an interesting idea, but maybe we need more data to know for sure.
- If it’s such a good idea, why hasn’t someone tried it before? What’s the catch?
- Seems risky, I’m not sure we can afford to fail. Do I really want to stick my neck out?
Well if you recognize yourself in some or all of the above statements, you are not alone.
I have worked with many entrepreneurs and all of them have faced moments of fear and self-doubt. Many of them have described the idea like a big elephant in the room. You can’t ignore it but you don’t quite know what to do with it.
These feelings are natural. It’s the way our mind’s are wired to process something new. But just because you have these feelings, it doesn’t mean you have to give into them.
The secret to successful entrepreneurs is that they channel this anxiety back into something positive. They acknowledge the fear, embrace it, and use it as the adrenaline they need to take action.
Here are a three tips that I learned from successful entrepreneurs during a recent BRITE conference I participated in:
- Go with your gut: If the idea is appealing to you, if it solves a problem that you find personally relevant, then it will most likely appeal to others. Limit the market research
I admit Halloween has gotten too crazed and too commercial.
All the candy fueled hoopla and rush to find the perfect costume often gives me a “whopper” of a headache.
But if you can manage past all that, there’s also a positive side.
Halloween is a terrific time for kids (of all ages) to tap into our creativity and get inspired by all the magical, mystical things around us.
Case in point: The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton on Hudson, Westchester.
(Under an hour from Manhattan by train).