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The Top 10 Creative Ideas - in Business, in Life

Steve Wickham

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The following Top 10 creative ideas come from a feedback report I had access to from the “What's the Big Idea" conference held recently on the east coast of Australia. I thought these ideas were worth a second look and some commentary.

ONE: Don't trust conferences on Big Ideas (we need to do our own research and testing)

Don't trust salespeople: there's a golden rule of life right there. There are natural rewards for diligence enough to ‘serve yourself. ’ We know what we want most of the time so why not trust our instinct?

TWO: Fail well and early

As a one-year-old we learned to walk. We fell and we did it often. We probably hurt ourselves many times as well fell awkwardly on the floor or against furniture - yet, we didn't give up did we? At that age and stage we wanted to learn; we had to learn. Our sense of curiosity and desire was strong. As time went on however, we learned that failure wasn't so much fun, particularly during school. We became subjects of ridicule and then resisted putting our heads up only to get them swiftly chopped off. Failure had dire consequences.

To fail well and early takes courage; boldness and fearlessness. Even better for teams to embrace this - imagine team members applauding each other for failure! - For having a go. . . Realistically, who cares when we fail? It's not death. We're one step closer to success.

THREE: Have at least one dumb idea a day

Dumb ideas are becoming more popular. Once we get over the sneer-factor and give so-called stupid suggestions a fair hearing we're often surprised how innovative they really can be. Innovation can be defined as “implementing creative ideas. " Think about it, as Edward De Bono famously said, “Creativity is always obvious in hindsight. " Most creative ideas that lead to innovation are initially somewhat ridiculous.

FOUR: Expect the world

Why would we not expect the best results if we're doing all the work required? Shooting for the stars is making the most of opportunities.

FIVE: Be childlike

Jesus said “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "[1] This applies as much to situations this side of heaven as it does to the afterlife. Whomever is least stands to gain the most.

To get the creative juices really flowing we must stop being know-alls and we might actually learn a few things. Learning is also a lot more fun from a childlike perspective. There are three more reasons to become more childlike - children don't complicate things too much, they trust more, and they're also less likely to fall for moral temptations.

SIX: Do nothing - create space

We know this implicitly I'm sure. Where we create space mentally we have room to take on new things. We couldn't top up the fuel tank in our car if it were already full; the same applies to our minds. When where are super busy, we don't have time and energy to be creative. Doing nothing might seem like procrastination but if we're intentionally freeing up room, it's good news for encouraging the next wave of creative splendor.

SEVEN: Thieve

No need to be bashful, there's nothing wrong with ‘re-appropriating’ thought, so long as it's duly acknowledged. (Note my acknowledgements at the end of this article. )

EIGHT: Start

How often do we fall for analysis paralysis? Some wonderful ideas are never implemented. Talk about frustration! Start. Do it. Begin. Commence. Instigate. Initiate. Now.

NINE: Challenge

Challenging takes critical thinking and the courage to confront. Neither are easy in all environments, but when we challenge things, particularly ‘group think, ’ we unlock the key to doing the right things, and not simply doing things right.

TEN: Leadership is a verb

Leaders differentiate themselves from wannabes through what they do. They do things that show leadership, and many of these things are counter the common way. Leadership is creative; they're synonymous. Like love, leadership sets itself apart in the doing.

I acknowledge Mr. Gino Valenti and Mr. Nigel Collins for the provision of the framework for this information.

Copyright © 2008, Steven John Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] Matthew 18:3-4 (NIV).

Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His key passions lie in facilitation and coaching, particularly in work/life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us.


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