New Year’s Revolution! 10 Ways to Innovate ANYTHING in 2014

New Year's Revolution!
10 Ways to Innovate ANYTHING in 2014 In today's chaotic and unpredictable marketplace where continuous innovation has become the price of doing business—and the only "business-as-usual" is that there is no business-as-usual anymore—many organizations struggle to keep up with the public's unrelenting demand for "new, different and better." Not long ago, you could thrive for years on just one great idea; today it seems you need a brand new game-changer every week. This non-negotiable requirement to innovate is the fire that has been lit under us all. We all know we need it; we all strive to do it.…

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Trick or Treat: 5 Ways Your Company May Be Scaring Away Innovative Ideas

Trick or Treat: 5 Ways Your Company May Be Scaring Away Innovative Ideas Scary creatures and evil spirits are fine on Halloween night. But they have no place in your brainstorming sessions, where they're sure to terrorize everyone in the room and thwart any fresh, innovative thinking. Here are some tips for how to exorcize the most disruptive brainstorming demons.
 
For most of us, the arrival of Halloween evokes childhood memories of trick-or-treating, jack-o’-lanterns, ghosts, goblins, witches and black cats—and staying up late to watch horror movies like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street.
 
Although the spooky traditions of “All Hallow’s Eve” aren't widely celebrated in the business world, they can provide us with interesting metaphors and analogies for some of the challenges organizations often face when trying to generate new ideas and drive innovation. …

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There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Idea. Or Is There?

There's No Such Thing as a Bad Idea. Or Is There? At some point, every experienced brainstormer has heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a bad idea!” In fact, it just might be the #1 “rule” of brainstorming. But is it really true? Aren’t there at least a few bad ideas lurking in the shadows? Most of us have at least a vague understanding of the expression’s meaning—but many of us just don’t buy it. In our SmartStorming training sessions, when we introduce this notion, a heated debate typically ensues. There is always one participant, and often many more, who challenge the notion that bad ideas don’t exist.…

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To Win the Brainstorming Game…Play by the Rules

To Win the Brainstorming Game…Play by the Rules
This article is excerpted from our upcoming book, SmartStorming: The Groundbreaking 6-Step Process for Liberating Creative Genius and Harvesting Bigger, Better Ideas! “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
- Albert Einstein Just hearing the word “rules” can be a turnoff for many people. After all, rules might mean that they are going to be restricted, limited, or told what they are and are not allowed to do. But rules are essential. Every well-conducted group activity in the world has rules—sports, games, meetings, legal proceedings, medicine, classrooms, even extreme kick-boxing death matches.…

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Your Brainstorming Invitee List: Why Diversity is the Mother of Innovation

Your Brainstorming Invitee List: Why Diversity is the Mother of Innovation
Who do you typically brainstorm with? The same group of people, time after time? Do you ever detect a certain “sameness” in the ideas generated? Are you surprised??? The quality and creative yield of ideas in any brainstorming session will only be as good as the people who make up the group. In today’s highly competitive, innovation-driven marketplace, truly breakthrough thinking almost always depends upon high quality collaboration. In his book, Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration, author Keith Sawyer explains, “When we collaborate, creativity unfolds across people; the sparks fly faster, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.…

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