Thursday, May 31, 2012

In Praise of Tinkering

To win in the Age of Now you need to unleash the unreasonable power of creativity. It’s no longer about coming up with the ‘big idea’ - creative leaders need to go for lots of small ideas continuously. Call it what you will but tinkering, brainstorming and problem-solving all play a vital role in driving success. Some of the world’s most successful inventors (Thomas Edison and Polaroid inventor Edward Land through to James Dyson) used creative principles that can be applied to business problems. Here’s a primer from the website 99% (not Occupy but insights on making ideas happen), article by Jocelyn Glei:

1. Produce and test more ideas. Persistence and productivity are the key. Edison held 1,093 patents - a record that's yet to be broken.

2. Employ "wrong-thinking." Divergent, silly or far-fetched thinking allows exploration of the full realm of possibilities for a solution.

3. Embrace failure.  Whereas the everyman might feel embarrassment in making a mistake, the inventor sees an opportunity for learning.

4. Sketch ideas. Even in our screen-obsessed era, effective innovators still hash out ideas on paper.

5. Trust intuition. Einstein always said that if he wasn't a physicist, he would have been a musician. He was more rooted in intuition and imagery than logic and equations.

6. Love tinkering.  All inventors are die-hard tinkerers. They're fascinated with understanding how things work, and then making them better.

7. Possess a boundless curiosity. Leonardo Da Vinci was an engineer, mathematician, architect, painter, sculptor, cartographer, botanist, and inventor.

Having creative solutions, being creative, inspiring creative ideas, being a creative leader – these are the performance factors upon which to build a reputation It’s not about getting things done. It’s about making things happen one step at a time.