I've got a confession to make... there are many ways leaders can be more creative, innovative and ingenious than are presented in this article.
It does not matter if you desire to be a marketing, entrepreneurial or organizational leader, you do have to use your creativity to be successful.
Most leaders have trouble discovering new opportunities, generating good ideas and promoting innovative solutions. In the game of creativity, you need both quality and quantity to win the prize.
I'll show you how to use 3 simple ways to boost the number, power and value of your ideas. All you need to do is learn them, practice them and make them the most used tools in your personal leadership-toolkit.
Create It This Way! Map It Out, Map It All!
Want a way out of that mental block or trap? Don't look for some guidebook, create yourself a map and follow it out of your troubles instead.
How do you draw a map to find new ideas, opportunities or create inventions? It's easy, all you need is a place to start! And like Dorothy learned in the Land of Oz, you always begin at the beginning.
Do you have a problem you're trying to solve? Do you have an unmet need? Do you want to search for something? Do you suspect something is missing or something is out of place or something is more than what is needed?
Use those questions to define your map's point of origin. Place that starting point in the center of the paper and then draw lines to any related problems or missing items.
Once you identify your problems, needs, missing pieces or suspicions and connect them in some logical order [by putting your worse problems at the bottom of the page and easier ones on the top] - then you can do the following:
=> List possible ways to find solutions
=> Draw lines to groups or people who can help you solve the problem
=> Use different shapes to show problems, solutions and key people or tools
=> Color your problems and their related solutions with the same colors [use red for the main problem and its solution, but use green for another problem and its solution]
=> Include push pins, sticky notes, stars or artwork when possible to add vitality, depth and substance to your map
Create It That Way! Ask and Answer It Quickly!
1) What is the situation, what is happening or going on here?
2) What are the problems, difficulties or challenges?
3) How do those problems impact, affect or influence the situation?
4) What good will the solutions to those problems need to do, provide or fix?
Ask those 4 questions and always ask 'why' at least 5 times for each answer and you will find tons of beneficial solutions.
Create It Anyway! Bend It, Shape It, Anyway You Want It!
So you tried mapping, drawing, picturing and asking or answering it and you still aren't getting any great ideas, are you?
Well here are some last chances for you - just re-arrange it, combine it with its own or different parts, mix-it-all-around, shuffle it, remove parts of it, throw it at the walls, step into the middle of it, step away from it, turn it upside down or inside out or round and round, talk about it with others or even yourself, meditate on and pray about it.
Whatever you do, do not let it just sit there without making some effort to move it or yourself.
Even though these seem a bit lightweight, they are the most powerful ways known to mankind for solving problems, finding ideas and opportunities and for creating useful inventions.
When you use these techniques, you will be employing the secrets of history's greatest inventive minds like Edison, Newton, Copernicus, Jesus Christ, Marie Curie, Franklin and Einstein.
You can do this, it takes only a few moments a day to master them and then you will find yourself lighting-up the world with your bright and valuable ideas.
Necessity is and always will be the Mother of invention. Make your Momma proud by using these methods whenever you have the need to bring meaningful contributions to our lives!
Rabu, 16 Juli 2008
I've got a confession to make... there are many ways leaders can be more creative, innovative and ingenious than are presented in this article.
Deadlines are something all of us face from time to time. We face deadlines whenever we set even a small goal and commit to accomplish it... that's when deadlines becomes important and valuable to us.
Why is a deadline so important?... Without one... many of our projects would, be put off, or eliminated completely. The closer we get to a deadline the more our thoughts, ideas, imagination and creativity go to work to help us meet the deadline.
Daily... many of us set goals to start projects, complete and send out ezines, finish articles, or finish writing a sales page for our websites. How many times do we put it off till the last minute?
Then we remember, were committed... and have a deadline to meet on the project. That's when deadlines show their value and importance. Because, a deadline gets our juices flowing with new thoughts and ideas so we can get into action and complete the job... sometimes at the last minute.
Even small goals take commitment and deadlines to accomplish. Either they're important enough, to make a commitment to doing at a certain time, or we eliminate the goal completly.
My ezine goes out on the 4th and 18th of every month. Some times a day or two before it goes out... the deadline gets me into action. Thoughts, commitment and imagination go to work to motivate me to complete it on time ... and my ezine goes out at the specified date.
The importance of a deadline is easy to overlook . I hadn't realized their value, or hadn't thought much about it until writing these comments. Without any kind of a deadline on projects ... I wonder how many would get completed?
Have you noticed as you get closer to a deadline, you become more creative? Deadlines cause our thoughts and imagination to become active giving us ideas to get the job done before the deadline.
Deadlines are what causes us to get into action... sometimes at the last minute, to complete a project or goal we set with commitment days before.
By Bill Parks
The ability to exercise your creativity is even more important for you than you probably think. Why? First, your creativity tremendously contributes to your self-actualization, which is essential for you to feel satisfied with your life and be happy. Second, it is exceedingly important for being successful in building relationships and earning money.
Taking creative approach contributes to your emotional state the similar way as the spice contributes to the taste of a course stimulating the appetite. If you generate ideas and fulfill them, your life becomes more and more interesting and exciting. This does not mean that you must generate a waste amount of ideas to feel excited and call yourself "creative"; quite the contrary, you should rather be able to generate from time to time really good ideas. If you generate too much ideas and are unable to prioritize, select and fulfill them properly, you will finally feel exhausted and discontented. There are some important factors that should be taken into account to avoid this danger. Please read the five practical guidelines below and ask yourself: "How often do I follow them in my life?".
1. Liberate yourself from the overstrain. A stress is not only the bitterest enemy of your creativity, it is also a violent destroyer of your nervous system. There are simple efficient ways to reduce stress or even entirely get rid of it. First, plan your time regularly. You should avoid emergency jobs to the maximum extent under your control. Schedule your jobs for at least 2-3 days and make reminders in order not to forget to do things in a timely fashion. Second, you should store all your important information in a convenient form, always accessible for retrieval. The inability to quickly find a required info cause stress. If you need a phone number, address, date of a meeting, or the latest result of a negotiation, you must be able to quickly find it. You should better make from time to time a few efforts to accurately write down your information, than to make later on incredibly huge efforts to search for the lost information. Remember, there is much more free space for brilliant ideas in a calm mind than in overstrained one.
2. Seize opportunities. Do simple jobs immediately as they arrive. Do you have to make a note for tomorrow? Write it down right now, or you will inevitably miss the deadline and will have to do an emergency job under time pressure. Is an idea flashing in your mind? Write it down right now, or you will forget it at once and forever being distracted by so many things you have to do. Do not lose the golden opportunity to generate a brilliant idea.
3. Concentrate your attention. Do not think about several things at a time, focus yourself exactly on the work being done. Try to reduce the number of distractions, or their impact on you at least. In order to do so, it is very essential to be able to quickly write down any incoming information securing it to be easily found later. If you can do that in an unobtrusive way, you will not get distracted and you will keep your mind focused in most cases. A good concentration is important for you to feel comfortable at work and it forms the solid background for ideas creation.
4. Spare your resources. Do not make too much efforts to immediately turn a newly arrived idea into a ready to implement solution. When an idea is flashing in your mind, simply write it down. When you have time, read and think about it; then forget it for a while to revert back later. Repeat that process over and over again until you could finally decide whether the idea is good or bad. Do not worry about the fact that you are not deliberating on your idea; at this stage of the idea development this does your subconscious. By forgetting an idea for a while you get a good chance to see it several times with a fresh look and evaluate it objectively. Moreover, and that is extremely important, by doing so you avoid wasting your personal resources on implementation of premature ideas and stop working on fuzzy goals.
5. Use your computer. There is a tremendous information processing power located inside the case of your computer. Make all those Gigabytes and Gigahertz work for you to solve simple yet very important issues: scheduling, quick setup of reminders, taking notes and ideas, archiving them into history and searching them. Take your time to find a software that really fits your needs, it will spare your time and efforts daily in the future. A good software for the everyday use must be convenient for you, smooth to operate, unobtrusive and it must in no way turn itself into another problem when you apply it to solve the original one.
In this article you have been presented five practical guidelines to build a solid background for discovering and efficiently using your creativity. Regardless of how much creative you are, you need to perform appropriate actions in appropriate circumstances to get real results. If you are not doing actions, doing inappropriate actions or doing right actions in wrong circumstances, you will only waste your potential and lose opportunities. The guidelines above ensure that you are acting properly. This article deals both with your personal organization and creativity, because they contribute tremendously to each other. That is why you should exercise them both to get practical results. This is the only solid bridge you can build from your creativity to your success. Good luck to you!
By Nicholas Kabarow
Have you ever thought of this? When you were young and at school the teachers always reprimanded the dreamers - "You live on another planet", "You've got your head full of silly notions!" and the like.
Then we are in the playground. The boys say, "I'm gonna jump over that garbage can" and the other boys say, "Nah, you're not good enough, you can't do that."
You back up and run your hardest at the garbage can and try to ignore the taunts of your disbelieving friends - you leap - and on passing over the bin, catch your foot and crash down".
You can still hear the laughing and to this day blush in embarrassment when you think about it. Perhaps your teachers were right - dreams are silly. Perhaps the other kids were right - you're not good enough.
Do you relate to this? Many of us do. If something like this has happened to you in the past you will know the disbelief and laughter of your childhood peers can cut a very deep wound. But you know there is a wound that is far worse than that? It is the wounding of our intestinal fortitude and the weakening of our lifetime resolve that occurs when we picked ourselves up of the school yard, hung our head, walked away along and thought, "They must be right, - I - can't - do - it". Have you said that about yourself and your business? The difference between those who achieve extraordinary goals and those who don't, is always in their thinking.
The incredibly fun, magical and simple thing about multi level marketing is this. If you can learn to reprogram your childhood self- limiting beliefs - you can do anything...earn an extra $500 per month right up to earning large royalty checks that you're your whole destiny in life!
Are you ready to reprogram your thinking? Create a vision for yourself - and play with possibility thinking? Create an environment around yourself where you dwell on achievements rather than failures. See yourself leaping over the garbage can - over and above every conceivable obstacle. Any worthwhile achievement must start in the brain. An old prophet once said, "As a man thinks, so he is". If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it!
I have heard it said that Thomas Edison created 800 light globes before he made one that worked! If he didn't believe he could do what seemed impossible, I am quite sure he would have stopped after the second or third attempt! Is your thinking stopping you achieving your dreams?
By Kim Beardsmore
Did you know that winning actually puts less wear and tear on the body than worrying? And did you know that you could worry yourself sick to the point that you'll end up in a hospital bed? And that, depending on the severity of the problem, when it becomes chronic and acceptable mode of conduct, it could lead to options beyond hospitalization? It could very well lead to imprisonment or interment!
Dr. Charles H. Mayo once said that half the beds in American hospitals are filled by people who worried themselves into them. The human mind seems to be like a calculator. Before you can solve a problem with it, it must be cleared of all previous problems. Worry jams up the mechanism; it short-circuits the whole operation.
It has been proven many times that by a simple change in attitude, in mental outlook, the same amount of time and energy most of us devote to worrying about our problems could be used to solving them.
Creative people look at problems as challenges. They realize that without problems, everything would come to a stop. Problems do to our emotions and psyche what pain does to our body: They keep us moving forward searching for a solution. They are responsible for every forward step we take, collectively and individually.
So, if you want to have a lot more fun and a lot less worry, try the following:
* Put your problems in their true perspective.
* See yourself as a part of the world, and the world as a part of the universe, and the universe as a part of a great and mysterious living picture.
* See problems in their true light: a temporary inconvenience.
Every problem has a solution. You may see not the solution immediately, but a solution is a available. You may not like the available solution, but in time you can change it to whatever suits you best.
Think about these the next time you are faced with a problem:
* No problem is permanent.
* Every problem has a solution.
* There are probably a number of ways to solve your problem.
* The same kind of problem has been solved a million times before some where around the world.
* You have the God-given powers to solve your problem.
Remember: When you maximize your potential, everyone wins. When you don't, we all lose.
By Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW
I believe that as solo-entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives we all need a pat on the back. Give yourself commendation. Why? Because we have the courage to step outside of the corporate box and start our own businesses, be our own boss and take on the challenge and responsibilities required for this adventure. In order to even contemplate that step we must have had a vision, a dream and a passion to bring it to fruition. So commend yourself.
Now, we're in business. We've been working our little brains out. We are dedicated to making our dream come true. But some time has passed and we may have exhausted ourselves of ideas, that passion that once used to drive us is fading and our never ending "to do list" is overshadowing our dreams.
Do not be discouraged, we only need to refuel. Picture the never ending stair master at the gym. I know we all dread that machine, because it seems like you just keep climbing and there is no landing. But each step is a further progression. Each step brings us to a higher level. Perhaps by reading these strategies we can replenish our passion and reinvigorate our inner drive. So let's focus on a few ideas that I have found to be helpful.
1) Narrow Your Niche I know that as a woman, mother, wife, housekeeper, and a chef, solo-entrepreneur and so on, I tend to think that I can handle it all. Maybe not with grace, but I can accomplish a lot. I am a multi-tasker. We assume that if we can do so in our personal lives, the same should be true in our professional lives. No doubt, we can manage a lot. And as solo-entrepreneurs there are a lot of hats to wear. Business owners are in advertising, marketing, accounting, and so on. But when it comes to the services we offer we should consider "narrowing our niche".
We may be more proficient in a particular area of our practice. By honing in on our skills in that area, we are creating a competitive edge, an area of expertise. You can position yourself as a leader in your own industry. Opposed to fitting in with a thousand of professionals offering the same service, we are now exposed to clientele as specializing in a certain skill. We can also appeal more specifically to a "target market".
2) Partnerships and Alliances Wouldn't you agree that we all need support? We need confirmation that we are heading in the right direction, a resource for assistance, or an honest opinion when we need advice. That's why it is essential to group ourselves together with a variety of individuals who are enlisted within a similar profession. It also increases our professional appearance to clients when we can refer them to an associate of ours who specializes in a particular area of expertise. (Hence the importance of "narrowing your niche"). There are many associations and links available to aid us in our endeavors. So make the connections needed and integrate yourself with a partner or an alliance and unite together with a support system. (E.g. become more involved with the community at www.solo-e.com/community/ where you will connect with individuals who are coming together to help you present yourself with the resources you need).
3) Maintaining Passion The word passion is described as: "enthusiasm, excitement, desire for a particular activity, or devotion to a cause". How do we maintain that enthusiastic approach? Focus on your core message. This is the innermost substance of your business. Maybe our business is a consulting firm. Why not focus on and think about how you are empowering other others to accomplish all that is needed of them by assisting them with your services and/or your products.
Try focusing on the message that you are communicating to others and try to incorporate that in your everyday duties. For instance, the core message of my company is growth. Not only personal growth, but business growth and helping other businesses grow, expand, and develop. I try to allow clients to see the quality of my concern and I enjoy the opportunity I have to help them. When they become more productive and increase profits, I benefit too! My motto is "If you grow - I grow!"
Another way to maintain your passion is to find similarities in your personal values and your business. All of us have a certain moral code. We all have things that are of particular importance to us and if we harmonize that connection between our work ethic and our personal ethics we will be passionate about what we do. Most of us appreciate sincerity from our family, friends and associates; by reflecting the same sincerity to others we are highlighting its importance to us. Having synchronization with our personal and business values will bring about passion, thus helping us to enjoy the entrepreneurial experience.
From my business to yours, I wish you much success and delight in your journey.
By Amy Ewart
I don't take notes anymore. Instead, I create one wildly colorful, creative and inspiring page whenever I need to make a decision, prepare a presentation, or plan an event. That whole two-column plus and minus approach? Gone.
Bring on the Mind Maps!
I read Tony Buzan's first book on Mind Mapping back in the early eighties, but I was too caught up in the old-school world to see how it could be of use to me. I recently rediscovered Mind Mapping and it has become an integral part of the work I do with clients.
Tony Buzan created the Mind Map concept in the early seventies. Based on his brilliant observation that our brains do not process information in a linear way, Mind Mapping allows us to use words, images, and color in an effort to engage the right side of our brains in what is normally considered a left-brain task: organizing information.
We've already learned that one of the keys to maximizing our potential as humans is to forget that whole right-brain/left-brain divide. Instead of seeing ourselves as a logical person OR a creative person, we're both. We've simply chosen to put more energy into developing skills associated with the analytical left or the daydreaming right. We must recognize that there's a fine line separating analysis from daydreams and that in order to have a fully integrated brain, we need to do both.
We speak in a linear pattern. We can say only one word at a time, and we can hear only one word at a time. Similarly, we read in a linear pattern-words flow in lines across the page.
So when it came time to organize notes and teach the proper form for creating outlines, it's easy to see why we turned to the tried and true linear approach. You know the format: Roman numeral one (I) followed by A, B and C, followed by 1, 2 and 3. We look for things to slot into each line in order to make it fit properly.
In school, we spent hours preparing these outlines for book reports, speeches, and term papers. In our work as adults, we do the same thing with agendas, meeting minutes, and project plans. Orderly lines of information. Black ink on white pages. Empty spaces.
Boring, boring, boring--and not the best way to use our brains.
Along comes Buzan, who says that we would be much better off if we allowed our right brains to get in on the game. So, instead of creating typical linear outlines, Buzan insisted on becoming radiant. He developed the concept of putting your central idea right in the center of the page. Your main points then radiate outward from the center. Each one of these points sprouts its own branches and twigs. He referred to this star-like pattern of ideas as Radiant Thinking.
The beauty of this is that you can see everything on one page. No time wasted sorting through pages. No need to flip through your notes to see your next point or find your conclusion--it's all right there in front of you. No need for extra notes. No energy spent on rewrites.
He didn't stop there. Buzan understood that color is a strong factor in helping us remember, so he encourages us to use different colors for each of the radiant thoughts and sub-thoughts. Instead of using only words, incorporate little line drawings and images to make connections between thoughts.
This is the way our brains work naturally. We don't picture the word B-O-X when we picture a box. Instead, our brains conjure the image. We don't always go from thought A to thought B to thought C. We're just as likely to start with A, then head over to E, skip back to A and then saunter over to R. Our neural pathways look like webs, not straight lines. In fact, the more criss- crossed our connections, the more we're able to synthesize complex ideas and come up with new ways to use old information.
Mind Maps give us an excuse to play. They give us a reason to keep a whole set of colored pens right on our desk for everyone to see. Mind maps allow our thuggish left brains to make friends with our timid rights. For once, there's harmony on the playground!
Use a Mind Map for your next planning session, and watch the reaction. Raised eyebrows give way to smirks, which dissolve into delighted grins. Linear notes become circular masterpieces. Black and white becomes a rainbow. Words become pictures. Workers become creative. Work becomes the joyful collaborative experience it is meant to be.
Grab your markers and become radiant. Your brain is waiting to play!
By Maya Talisman Frost