I met up with Karen Davies and Fiona Davidson of Dav-idea Workshops, in Cheadle the other day. We were talking about innovation in business. Karen and Fiona consult, mentor and train businesses in the management of innovation.
Creativity is defined as the ability to use skill and imagination to have ideas that are new to you. Innovation is the introduction of new ideas or new ways of doing something. Invention is the creation of something new to everyone; something novel.
We aren’t all inventors but we can all be creative and innovate.
Karen and Fiona talked about some idea generation techniques including De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats®, Mind Mapping, Brainstorming and Reverse Brainstorming.
I’ve done a lot of brainstorming in my time but never reverse brainstorming. I liked it. Basically the concept is the same as brainstorming but instead of asking the question “How can I make this better?”, you ask the question “How can I make this worse?”. Sounds daft but it seems easier to think of ideas to make things worse. Once you know how to make things worse, you can probably think the opposite and make them better.
One of the top tips I got from Karen and Fiona was the importance of giving yourself time to be creative. This is so true. You are much more likely to have ideas if you give yourself time for your mind to wander. Which is why we all have ideas (not just Archimedes) in the bath, shower, walking and doing whatever we do to relax.
Don’t forget though it’s great to have ideas but making those ideas a reality – innovating – will help your business become more sustainable and grow.
If you want to learn more about Tools for Innovation, Dav-idea are running a workshop on Tuesday 19th April at Thornton Science Park.