The Single Best Thing You Can Do to Be More Creative

Posted 11.15.2013

book-creativityDo you think you’re creative?  Are you a font of innovation and new ideas?  Do you regularly spark your team to think differently?

If your answer to these questions is yes, that’s awesome – keep going. If your answer is no or I don’t know, there’s a single best thing you can do to be more creative.

In a recent conversation I had with David Burkus, assistant professor of management at Oral Roberts University and author of the new book, The Myths of Creativity, he made the point that most creative ideas come through combining pre-existing ideas.

So, the most important thing you can do to raise your creativity and that of the people you lead is to seek out stimulus and ideas from all over. Go deep on your knowledge on your specific expertise or responsibility and go wide on paying attention to what’s going on around you.

Here’s an old school example of how that plays out in real life. As David pointed out to me, Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile. He didn’t invent the assembly line either.  But Ford paid attention to how the Swift meat packing company used a “disassembly” line to prepare different cuts of beef. He combined that idea with his deep knowledge of autos to create the modern manufacturing process.

In this brief interview, David shares more about how you can spark your own creativity and that of your organization. Listen in for more.

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