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Innovate Or Stagnate
by Barbara Garro

First, be aware of the paralyzing business trap of your own success. How can your success be a trap? When you convince yourself that you can do things the same way you are doing them forever, just because what you are doing is working now!

Think about what makes for creative problem-solving in your business. Do you have a ready answer? Consider unpacking these two:

1. New valuable solutions to common problems.

2. New valuable solutions to problems not yet common.

Garro’s Innovate Definition: Creativity is the highest form of thinking. What I call “Intuitive Thinking” flows out, fluid, expanding, mercury on the move. Catch it quick. It won’t wait for you, ever! It’s the music of your mind, but “must needs” listen, as the Indians would say.

Do These Qualities of a Creative Person Describe You?

➢ Non-defensive response to strong feelings or unusual ideas

➢ Willing to substitute novel for habitual responses

➢ Love of adventure, complexity, and new/strange territory

➢ A strong drive to find pattern and meaning

➢ Ability to create order from disorder and to see similarities in the dissimilar

➢ Unusual capacity for intuition

➢ Psychological risk taking

The creative supercharge themselves with each new goal to improve everything within their power in the shortest possible span of time. Why the rush? So they can tackle the thirty or so ideas always waiting in the wings, most of the time impatiently.

To create products and services for tomorrow’s customers’ needs, you must discipline yourself to remain teachable and open to developing that kind of creative mindset.

Which Creative Personality most fits you?

Personality No. 1 – Idea after idea constantly popping into your mind that you wish you had the time to act upon and develop.

Personality No. 2 – Can’t seem to find the time to come up with new ideas you could act upon to solve problems and create profit opportunities.

Personality No. 3 – I look at problems in broad terms first, break the problem down into segments. So I have history and its effect on a variety of people and processes. Then, I blast it with a variety of possible solutions. Even when I solve the problem, I continue to seek improvements, never stopping.

Consider this, men and women in business who don’t actively cultivate and practice creativity are like a frog that dies when the water it is in boils, because it fails to notice the water getting hotter and hotter, so it doesn’t jump out. Or, they are like the grown elephant that lets a little peg in the ground keep it tethered, because the peg held it when it was a calf.

Not honing creative skills keeps you stuck in outmoded ways like the elephant or can cause a slow death of your viability like the frog.

If your mechanical mind kicked in and you are wondering how to make intuitive thinking work for you, here are:

Nine Steps to the Power of Creativity

1. Intended Outcome—know what you want to be creative about.

2. Information Gathering—what new do you need to know?

3. Information Analysis—how can organizing what you learned help?

4. Incubation—never underestimate the power of sustained thought.

5. Insight—the sparks of insight will amaze you in this process.

6. Inspiration—this is when your creative intuition kicks in.

7. Implementation—now it’s time to put your creativity to work.

8. Integration—make it into a harmonious implementation.

9. Incarnation—now you get to live in the new way/s you created.

Incarnation becomes your result after motivation meets inspiration to power your intuitive mindset. Creative vision sees beyond what is now and looks forward into new territory to what could be. Creativity begets an idea to satisfy a need. Innovation gives the idea the form or process that makes it a product or service. Implementation takes the sellable idea to market or incorporates it into in-house administrative processes.

Here are the words of Doug Hall, founder in 1986 of The Eureka® Ranch (http://www.EurekaRanch.com), “Innovation is a journey, not a destination. It is a quest to understand how, as individuals, and a collective team, we can think quicker, smarter and more creatively.”

Wouldn’t you like to know exactly how to tap into your “Intuitive Creativity” at will to generate those new ideas you desperately need to solve your business problems and maintain a competitive edge?

To leap into uncharted territory you need to suspend your disbelief and overcome creativity-killer attitudes of perfectionism, judgment, ego, control, and subjectivity, as well as the temptation to deny you have any creative abilities.

You know creativity and its by-product innovation are crucial to sustain profitable sales volumes over the long term. It’s probably no surprise to you that two of the top five big problems for small business are weak sales and competition from large companies. For big companies it is sustaining to increasing sales while sustaining to increasing profitability. This economy challenges businesses of all sizes and scopes.

So, why do many business owners resist creative change? Consider that successful businesses can end up trapped like the frog. It really is too easy to tell yourself that you can do it this way forever because it is working for you right now. By the time reality sets in that a company has been operating under a false sense of security, significant customers have moved on. You have read and heard these stories time and again in the news.

Imagination, design, and creativity are touted as the success drivers of the future, along with the fundamental moorings of financial stability and common sense. However, without new ideas, success in tomorrow’s marketplace becomes impossible.

Management guru, Peter Drucker states two principals to maintain an entrepreneurial organization:

1. Abandon Yesterday: Keep asking yourself if what you do is viable for the future. If not, change to something that will be.

2. Reward Entrepreneurship: Drucker cites this example: Unless an employee makes at least three proposals for new ways and means in a 12-month period, no raise that year.

You can learn to be more creative than you think you are right now. Ready for a User-Friendly Creativity Kit?

• Something to jot down thoughts everywhere you go: on your person when outdoors, in every room you use wherever you are, including car, truck, boat, plane, camper, train

• Fully-charged high-tech device for night flashes of creativity: in pocket or purse during recreational activities and by your bedside

When you understand how to power up your “Intuitive Thinking,” you develop your own personal creativity process style. Then, you can depend on your “Intuitive Thinking” to generate ideas, develop ideas, and problem-solve every day on and off the job. “Intuitive Thinking” becomes your habit.

If you want to jump-start yourself with some Intuitive Creativity Coaching, Enlightened Envisions Coaching is available in private or group sessions conveniently by telephone. Reach me at 518-587-9999 and let’s see what can work.