Innovation Starts With Curiosity

Some of the best ideas in history were born by accident.  The discovery of penicillin came about when Alexander Fleming wondered why bacteria would not grow near the penicillium fungus on his desk.  That single moment of curiosity changed life forever by saving countless people from bacterial infections that previously might have proven fatal.

Think about the problems plaguing your business today.  Is there one in particular that would benefit from a short brainstorming session?  Start by clearly naming the problem.  It may help to write a sentence that begins with these words: We have a problem in that…

Next, gather a few people who can give you 20 or 30 minutes of their time.  They needn’t be involved directly with your business – in fact, fresh eyes can provide creativity and originality.

Give everyone permission to think in irrational or illogical terms and ask them to stay curious.  No judging allowed — brainstorming is strictly for stimulating ideas.  At the end of the session, gather all the potential solutions, thank your collaborators, and end the meeting.  Pick a time to review the ideas and grade them according to ease of implementation, cost and impact.  You may find you have one or more practical solutions that would not have occurred to you in isolation.

Another post you might enjoy: A Culture of Innovation

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