The People That Make Us Say, “Wow!”

The People That Make Us Say, “Wow!” There are people out there whose job it is to make us say, “Wow,” on a daily basis. They are the “creative types” among us – the ad men and women, entertainers, writers, artists and just about everybody working at Apple. It’s not easy making us say, “Wow.” Sure, sometimes it’s fun. But often it’s just plain, old hard work. Some days we are in the mood to say, “Wow.” But many days, we’re just like, “Yeah, so what?” That’s when it’s a grind. The funny thing is, those people don’t really do what they do because of us.…

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Seeing What’s Not There

Seeing What’s Not There Back when I worked in advertising, it took me years to understand that some of my clients simply weren't able to “see,” in their minds, the things I “saw”’ when I presented them with new ideas. What it would look like, the sounds, the mood, the tone. Many of them were just too literal. They had to actually see it with their eyes to understand it. They weren't trying to be difficult when they rejected an idea. They just didn't really understand what the idea actually was. In some ways, it required a much greater leap of faith on the parts of those who actually did approve the work.…

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Ideation: Team Sport or Individual Event?

Ideation: Team Sport or Individual Event? Do people generate ideas more effectively in groups, or flying solo? You probably have an opinion. Most people who regularly engage in idea generation do. Those who consider themselves naturally “creative,” and more talented thinkers than their peers, tend to believe they work better when unencumbered by others' limitations. Those who value the unique perspectives and abilities of their teammates tend to favor brainstorming. In fact, the comparison is somewhat unfair. Gifted and highly skilled creative problem solvers will almost always shine when compared to teams that are untrained, unpracticed, clumsy and poorly led. But what about a team that’s on top of its game?…

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It’s Not Easy Thinking Small

It’s Not Easy Thinking Small Not so long ago, all you had to do was show up, do your job (a.k.a. “the minimum expected of you”), try not to make waves—and you could live a pretty good, hassle-free life. And if you did that long enough you could eventually get paid for doing nothing at all. Being a small thinker offered big rewards. But oh, how times have changed. Today, the people (and companies) that sail through life and recessions are those that show up early and stay late; that continually reinvent and ramp up their “jobs” (a.k.a. “the value they deliver to others”); that, rather than avoiding waves, joyfully stir things up on a daily basis.…

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Innovation Spotlight: Can Traffic Lights Be Even More Informative – And Frustrating?

Originally featured at Yanko Design, November 18, 2010 Innovation Spotlight: Can Traffic Lights Be Even More Informative - And Frustrating? Designer Thanva Tivawong has come up with an innovative traffic light design that not only tells drivers whether to stop or go (or speed up before the yellow light changes!), but provides an indication of how much time they have to do any of those things. Called "The Sand Glass," the concept incorporates LED lights in the shape of a familiar countdown hourglass. Traditional colors remain, but in Tivawong's version they would gradually fill the shape before transitioning to the next in the sequence.…

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