Growing Money Trees of Creativity and Innovation

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The secret sauce of business success is the ability to grow your own money tree through creativity and innovation. This requires cultivating the creative abilities of teams and individuals even if there appears to be no “born with” ability.

Companies that stay relevant in the marketplace become experts at encouraging environments where the soil of ideas is cultivated, hybrid seeds are formed, planted, then watered to the harvest.

Prepare the soil. If your company has tasked your team to come up with a new business-venture idea, each team member can sit in their cubicle and think and think, or you can assign each team member to go out and talk about new venture ideas to at least five people in different disciplines. They can choose a plumber, a dentist, a musician, a computer scientist, an engineer, a non-profit volunteer, e.g.

Team members could also be assigned to visit or study online at least three new disruptive marketplace products or innovative variations of a standard product. They could be assigned to sample the features and benefits of seven “new to market products.”

When the team members return and report, the soil in their brains has been fully cultivated and prepared with many more fertile ideas than if they had stayed in their cubicle and depended on their own thought processes to innovate.

Form a hybrid seed. As the team members return from their discovery time and collaborate, a hybrid seed will be created. The new seed is formed by associating ideas, questions or problems thought to be unrelated and building on ideas from different disciplines.

At this step in the process, questions are critical. The team should ask each other open ended questions such as “Why?” “Why not?” and “What if?” “How would … work?”

Assumptions should be challenged: “What if we cut the size in half? Would that be more appealing to the customer?” “What if we enhanced the capacity to four times the original, how would that change the price and would that be offset by value to the customer, thus increasing sales?”

Through examination, association, and questions, the new product, service, or prototype is formulated.

One caution: before actually planting the new hybrid seed, revisit the processes outlined in preparing the soil and experiment with the viability of your ideas.

Water to the Harvest. When all the pre-work is done and the hybrid idea is perfected, plant the idea where the sun is brilliant. Keep the idea watered – give  it the required resources to mature, flex and morph as needed,  until it has matured into the money tree you need.  

Workplace Power Institute helps organizations be more productive and more competitive in the global marketplace by improving the creative thinking of individuals and the innovation processes used by teams. To invite Karla Brandau, CEO, to speak at your next event or training workshop, call 770-923-0883 or send an email to info@WorkplacePower.com.

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