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The Secret To Endless Innovation

Author: Eric Garner   |   July 29th, 2011

Just the other day, a friend was telling me recently of how she was asked to help a major company tackle a business problem they had been having for months.

They had tried all the traditional methods but had got nowhere..As a mother of 3 young children, my friend decided to try something different with them (they were mainly middle-aged men). She suggested they look at the problem with the eyes of children. To put them in the right mindset, she took them outside the office and sat on the grass and asked them the question, “If you were a 7-year-old child, what game would you play to solve this challenge?”

The answers she got were remarkable, from the ridiculous to the imaginative, from the subtle to the blindingly obvious. It opened up a whole new range of possibilities that eventually led to a successful solution.

Getting Back to Your Childlike Mindset

One of the problems of experience is that it limits our creativity. The more we think we know about the world, the more we reject what we think doesn’t, and won’t, work. Someone once compared it to being given a block of marble when we are born and chipping away at it to create our view of the world. By the time we’re adults, we’ve created a sculpture from our block but it is only one way of seeing the world. In the process, we devise a set of rules of what works and what doesn’t and so constrain our creativity. The only answer is to get back to a child-like mindset.

Re-Discovering Your Natural Creativity

To return to the natural creativity you had when you were a child, do the following…

• allow yourself to wonder like a child

• be completely present here and now

• allow yourself to become detached from what you thought was “real”

• don’t look outside yourself for answers; believe all the answers are inside yourself just waiting to be discovered

• don’t live for others’ views and opinions• kick away intellectual mindsets of the ways things ought to be.

Try these simple things each day from now on and not only won’t you age, you’ll also find endless innovation for your small business and never short for creative ideas.

About Eric Garner
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