THE TRICK TO HARNESS INNOVATION IN YOUR COMPANY
—- 5 minutes read —-
If I was to tell you that certain humans can pass through a wall, fly in the air…or read your mind, you wouldn’t believe me.
Yet it is our job as magicians to do so. Or at least to create the illusion of it. And that is impossible to even conceive unless we embrace the impossible, the absurd, and the “stupidity” of our ideas.
Without a little CrAzY in our creativity, and a lot of it in our dreams, no illusions would get created and no one would come to our boring magic shows!
So to create our illusions, we use our experience and knowledge along with that crazy attitude. That is what I talk about in my keynote, and basically why I became a speaker.
The trick to finding good ideas
To find innovative ideas, the trick is to not try to find a good idea, it will only activate your inner censor and no idea will be good enough for you. Instead, aim to find a LOT OF IDEAS. Out of quantity comes quality.
Whether it is to create a new product, service, or an innovative twist on your current business model, you have to first put it all on the table.
The bad ideas, the crazy ones, the stupid ones…and if you are lucky, the good ones as well. But don’t put all your hopes on those, they are not necessarily the ones you will keep in the end.
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You might not know where you are going with weird ideas and it might feel stupid at first but if you allow yourself to follow them and to guide you to interesting ones, you will end up finding something you would never have thought of if you originally tried to find the “best idea”.
And I’m not the only one to talk about this! Great businessmen and speakers around the world do it too…and this is actually what I say and preach as an innovation keynote speaker. This quote is an example:
They called me ‘Crazy Jack,’ and I think crazy is good. We are crazy but we are not stupid. We know what we do.
Jack Ma, Founder of Ali Express
Very Difficult is Not Impossible
The second thing is that many people assume that when something is very difficult it is impossible. They don’t want to put in the effort to work through something tough or complex.
Often, they instantly label a task as impossible because it feels tricky. This negative way of thinking often appears way too early in the creative process, and this is usually when we give up.
I love this quote from Elon Musk:
“Many things are improbable, only a few are impossible.”
– Elon Musk
We may even label a task “impossible” or “too crazy” before brainstorming or considering it as an option, a plausible alternative. That is why in my seminars, I always start with something impossible to brainstorm on, and when the participants find that it is easier than they expected, it puts in perspective their corporate problems…
We magicians (and most of us who became speakers) have the opposite strategy than most people. When we hear something that sounds COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE, we refuse to believe it is.
We think, there has to be a way. I’m sure it is not impossible, and we work on it by inventing crazy, wild, and out of the box solutions. Sometimes our attempts work, sometimes they don’t.
But even then, we open our minds; we’re always ready to find solutions to any “impossible” problem. This is a winning strategy because we don’t lose time or effort. If we don’t get the result we were hoping for, we can discover something else. If we haven’t discovered anything, at least we’ve exercised our minds to build the impossible.
So, what is really possible, complex, very difficult or impossible?
Try this exercise:
- Make a list of 20 things in your life that you assumed, or that others led you to believe, were impossible.
- Look at each item on your list, think hard, and be honest. Now write either “very difficult” or “impossible” next to each item. You will be surprised!
So instead of starting off by saying, “Oh, this is just too crazy, I will never be able to do that” when something sounds impossible, do the opposite! Assume it is possible, it will train your brain to look for opportunities and possibilities! And then continue to accept all kinds of solutions to solve this crazy (improbable or stupid) idea. It is just a shift in your brain and it will resonate in everything you do.
Could you build rockets like Elon Musk and spend a couple of people in space? It’s possible. That guy did it. It is very, very hard. You’ll need finances, engineers, management skills, courage, and a lot of patience …but it is possible.
In the end, you must always have a positive attitude towards what you can create in your company or in your life.
The easiest way is to create a habit by starting to find different solutions to simple problems and following stupid little ideas to see where it leads you. With time and a bit of practice every day (10 minutes top!), you will train your brain to believe that everything is possible.