It’s not that we don’t have the ideas that could change the world, it’s just that we don’t notice them. In fact, studies have shown that 98% of ideas are generated from our ordinary observations of life and the world around us! Here are five things you can do to boost your observation skills, so you can be ready to spot those rare and truly innovative ideas when they appear.
The Creative Process
Most great ideas arise out of ordinary observations. Ideas can come from literally anything – a sight, sound, smell, or thought. More importantly, there is no set way for creativity to work its magic. Creative thinking may be free-flowing and intuitive or it may be a difficult process filled with self-doubt and frustration. When an idea comes to fruition, something new has been created that can help solve problems or change perspectives on everyday life
The Mental Blocks to Creativity
It’s not always easy to be creative. Sometimes your mind is full of thoughts and distractions, and it can be difficult to focus on one thing. A few mental blocks may be preventing you from thinking up some truly innovative ideas.
The Creative Process in Action
It’s fascinating to think about how new ideas arise. We all have those everyday observations that can inspire us, if we’re paying attention. We see them or hear them and think: ‘Hey, that could be useful!’. Some creative geniuses always seem to have an idea at the ready, and they know it might not work out in the end but they don’t worry too much because they’re constantly generating new ideas to replace the ones that don’t work out.
Example of the creative process in action
People think of themselves as creative because they come up with a good idea, but what people don’t know is that the creative process is not just about the final product but about how those ideas arise. A key question in understanding creativity is what happens to new or unpolished ideas. If a person has an idea for a perfect marketing campaign but cannot formalize it into words, does this mean that person is uncreative? I would argue no.
Resisting the impulse to judge your ideas
In order to come up with innovative ideas, it is essential to resist the impulse to judge your ideas. Be open-minded and willing to explore a variety of different avenues before you narrow down which ones are worth investing in. It is also helpful to try a variety of tactics, such as brainstorming with colleagues or keeping a journal that records any observations you make. By opening yourself up to new perspectives and letting go of fear, your capacity for creativity will expand.
Resist the temptation to edit while you write
The minute that you start editing your writing while you are still in the process of formulating the idea, is the minute that you begin to devalue what’s worth saying. Resist editing as much as possible to allow your thoughts and ideas the opportunity to come out. If an idea doesn’t work, then discard it.
Why is observation important in innovation?
When asked how to come up with innovative ideas, many people say you need to think outside the box. However, what if you can’t find that box? It may be hidden among the busyness of life, in the ordinary things we take for granted. It’s about looking for opportunities and seeing what can be done with them. Innovation is also found in uncovering gaps and identifying new needs that can be met.
How are new ideas created?
Creativity is often thought of as being limited to individuals with artistic talent. This isn’t true. All creative endeavors stem from ordinary observations that are put into a new context or viewed through a different lens. When looking at something in a new way, we create something novel or innovative. These acts of insight happen all the time, but sometimes they’re so subtle that people don’t notice them happening and they get passed by.
In order to really be innovative, it’s important to have an ordinary observation. The world is full of examples of people coming up with completely new and innovative ideas by looking at everyday objects in a new way. Seeing something through fresh eyes means a true opportunity for innovation.
And that’s the secret to how innovative ideas arise from ordinary observations!