Get Creative & Practice

I stumbled across Greg Satell’s article, “What Makes You So Smart?”  which got me thinking about how innovative, forward-thinking people function. There are the standard ways to measure your intelligence but according to Greg, ” Our ability to think is a direct result of the firing of synapses in our brain, most of which, we acquire throughout life. Smart people, then, are the ones who constantly seek out new patterns and learn to recognize them. 

How can you get smarter? Greg talks about three areas:

  • Build a Database of Experience
  • Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Deliberate Practice
Breaking out of your comfort zone is the way I typically innovate. Pushing yourself beyond what you normally do and learning along the way is how I have discovered ideas in the past. Building a database of ideas and experience can help you track what has worked and what hasn’t worked. I’ll write a follow up post on how you can push boundaries and build a framework around innovation.

After reading Fast Company’s,100 Most Creative People in 2012” I was inspired by so many forward-thinking innovative individuals I decided to highlight the ones that stood out for me.

  • Adam Brotman  – Finding the intersection of consumer mobile, the bar-code scanner and how to let customers pay faster is breaking through the traditional retail model.
  • Leslie Berland – Defining social currency; bridging the gap between business development and social media has skyrocketed American Express’s digital efforts. It can certainly serve as a model for others to follow.
  • Andrew Yang – Creating jobs and solving our unemployment issue is more than huge — contributing to this problem is historical. Andrew’s company connects graduates with entrepreneurs who can create economic value.
  • Rachel Chong –  Matching volunteers with non-profits, as Fast Company describes, “an eHarmony for not-for-profits–a service matching volunteers with charities, built with the help of former Hulu and Etsy engineers.”

Innovation occurs on many levels.Whether you are at your corporate desk or sitting at the kitchen table, I hope this inspires you to break out of your comfort zone and take your idea from paper to reality.

Other sources you may like:

Future Trends: 2012 Online Marketing & Technology Predictions
Top 20 Innovation Articles April 2012
Innovation: Speed as an enabler, feature, benefit
Finding the Social in Social Business