I Came, I Saw – Idea!

By Malcolm Fleschner

As a famous business guru once said, “Get the change out of your pockets and into your organization.” OK, no one famous ever said that, but the sentiment remains true regardless. In Thunderbolt Thinkers: Electrifying Ideas For Building An Innovative Workplace (Bard Press, 2000), author Grace McGartland suggests the following nine tips for keeping your mind flexible and open to the type of groundbreaking ideas that can transform an organization.

1. Attitude is everything.
Try altering your physical frame of reference. For an entire day do your work while standing.

2. Right brain, left brain.
Let both facts and feelings hold equal sway over your thought processes. Acknowledge both sides without losing your ability to think clearly.

3. Look up.
Risk being positive about your own thoughts. Instead of immediately thinking why something won’t work, start asking yourself questions that will lead to a genuine solution.

4. Prioritize!
Think about what your primary goals are for your organization. Then focus on this issue as you consider alternatives for the future.

5. Make it your business.
Whenever you identify a problem or challenge, take the responsibility for finding a solution. Solidify your resolve by saying it out loud and writing it down.

6. Reach out and talk to someone.
Call trusted friends and let them know that you’re facing a challenge. Say that you’re not looking for a solution, but rather a sympathetic ear to listen as you talk things out.

7. Choose the unusual.
Recognize that some of the greatest ideas are also the most radical or off the wall. Give yourself permission to be different.

8. Project X, Y and Z.
Embark on a number of unrelated projects and enterprises at once. Release yourself from any anxieties and let the ideas come to you. Then run with them.

9. Swap perspectives.
For a day, whether at home or at work, trade responsibilities with someone. Just this simple change in perspective can open a world of ideas and broaden your worldview.

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