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The Innovation Blog

Remembering Steve Jobs

Posted by Creative Realities on November 2, 2011

Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we've been thinking about a problem. 

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Topics: creativity, Alignment, creative thinking, Innovation, creative problem solving skills

Book Review: Little Bets, Big Insights

Posted by Creative Realities on October 5, 2011

In Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, a fantastic book about the creative process, Peter Sims builds a compelling case for why breakthrough ideas come about as the result of lots of little experiments. Drawing on everything from Chris Rock's method of developing stand up comedy, to the production process of the animation teams at Pixar, to the "HP Way" corporate culture inspired by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, to Frank Gehry's unconventional architecture designs, Sims advocates for a creative process that defies the common understanding of creativity. Sims slays the myth of the creative genius who gets hit with a bolt of inspiration out of nowhere like lightning. Sims argues that, instead, most people who are highly creative achieve success through a constant, deliberate cycle of experimenting, failing, adapting, and fine-tuning.  Here are a few of Sims key insights.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, creativity, Entrepreneurial, creative thinking, breakthrough, creative problem solving skills, creative thinking skills, approximate thinking, developmental thinking, implementation

Creative Problem Solving Lessons From "Old School"

Posted by Creative Realities on May 12, 2011

Flipping through the channels over the weekend, I came across one of my favorite movies of all time: Old School. Like the subject of this clever Onion article, I ended up neglecting my plans and re-watching this comedy classic in its entirety. I saw the movie from a whole new perspective, a business innovation perspective. The movie is fundamentally about a group of guys implementing a seemingly absurd idea that breaks the mold. They are creative problem solving geniuses.  Believe it or not, this comedy can teach us all a few things about business opportunities, innovation initiatives, and creative problem solving skills. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this hilarious movie and the serious insights they contain.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, open-minded evaluation, Innovation, creative problem solving skills

How Genius Works: Quotes on the Creative Process

Posted by Creative Realities on April 25, 2011

It seems that every magazine article I have picked up lately has related directly to creativity and innovation. The trend continued this morning, when I discovered the The Atlantic's special culture report on How Genius Works. In Project: First Drafts, the magazine asks some of the world's most creative and famous artists to explain their process of turning inspiration into art.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the feature.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, creativity, creative problem solving, creative problem solving skills

Weekend Reading: Neuroscience, Time, and Innovation

Posted by Creative Realities on April 23, 2011

In The Possibilian, a riveting New Yorker profile of the neuroscience and Renaissance man Dr. David Eagleman, Burkhard Bilger explores our understanding of time. Eagleman is obsessed with understanding how the human brain processes time and whether that perception is influenced by one's mental state.  For example, does fear make time slow down?  This is just one of the many topics that interest Eagleman.  The article is well worth a close read, and I also recommend checking out the transcript of the chat Bilger and Ealgeman hosted.  Here, I would like to highlight three key takeaways that relate to innovation and creative problem solving.
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Topics: Chris Dolan, creative problem solving, creative problem solving skills

When cars poop #2 -- Innovation skills

Posted by Creative Realities on March 23, 2011

Continuing the conversation about “When Cars Poop” from last week, my goal is to help people think differently, more innovatively, and to have some fun.  Along the way, we’ll introduce some innovation tools and skills.

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Topics: critical ideation skills, creative thinking, Innovation, strategic innovation, creative problem solving skills, brainstorming, creative thinking skills, approximate thinking, sustainability, technical innovation

Haikus for the Soul (the Innovative Soul that is) PART II

Posted by David Culton on September 24, 2010

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Topics: Amanda Hines, critical ideation skills, creative thinking, breakthrough innovation, creative problem solving skills, creative thinking skills, developmental thinking

Wake Up Your Creative Side: Skill #2 Developmental Thinking

Posted by Creative Realities on September 20, 2010

Skill #3: Developmental Thinking

Understanding what's working and what's not, to improve and refine your creative thinking and to solve problems. 

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Topics: critical ideation skills, creative problem solving skills, developmental thinking

Ideation Skills: Connection Making

Posted by Creative Realities on September 7, 2010

Making mental links between things that are not normally or have not previously been recognized as the source of a new idea

A core skill of brainstorming and creative-problem solving is learning how to make connections; those "a-ha" moments when two or more seemingly unrelated, even irrelevant signals in the brain suddenly come together to create a powerful new insight, idea, or conclusion.  Connections almost always require a lot of developmental work to make them real, but the core of the idea/solution is embedded in the connection.

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Topics: critical ideation skills, creative problem solving skills, connection making

Ideation Skills: Active Listening and Headlining

Posted by Creative Realities on August 26, 2010

In the last Ideation Skills post, we discussed Passive Listening, the problematic way people typically tend to listen in creative problem solving meetings.  Here I will outline two simple techniques to enhance your ability to listen, generate ideas, and communicate your ideas to the group.  These two skills will make you a creative problem solving meeting All-Star in no time.

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Topics: Chris Dolan, active listening, headlining, critical ideation skills, creative problem solving skills