After nearly a week’s worth of 2011 TED Simulcast posts, here are seven takeaways that apply to strategy, creativity, and innovation from the various Day 2 TED Talks presented at TEDxKC:

  • Never underestimate the fragility and apparent simplicity of complex systems. If you’re struggling to see simplicity in seemingly complex everyday situations, don’t let yourself off the hook. Keep looking for simplicity.
  • It’s vital to continually alter your perspective to maintain creativity. Sometimes being too close makes situations look very diverse when they aren’t. This is a big challenge for experts when they try explaining things to those us who aren’t experts. Other times, proximity may obscure diversity. Innovative thinkers have to be able to be in multiple places at once mentally to be both great analysts and explorers.
  • When you need to figure out a different business strategy, look for adjacencies. What’s a more general way of describing your current strategic situation? Once you’ve figured that out, explore other situations which are different, yet right next to yours when viewed more generally.
  • Learning isn’t binary. We don’t move from not knowing to knowing something. Learning is iterative. Make as many learning steps (both forward and backward) as you can, as quickly as you can, to maximize your learning potential.
  • Imagination, the interplay between logic and intuition, and the ability to formulate a hypothetical world view are vital to discovery.
  • Aaron O’Connell pointed out we behave differently when we’re in an elevator by ourselves vs. when someone else is with us. We all know we get a lot crazier when nobody else is an elevator with us. But while we act differently when no one is watching, increasingly we’re subject to being watched much more of the time. To get creatively crazy, it’s important to figure out ways to avoid whatever “cameras” thwart your wild mental (and other types of) abandon.
  • It’s not just technical skills and determination which lead to discovery. It’s about creating and articulating a world view much bigger than you. This is a BIG personal improvement area for me.

And to paraphrase Forrest Gump, That all I have to say about 2011 TED.

Except that I’m looking forward to digital marketing agency VML and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art hosting TEDxKC in Kansas City this coming August! – Mike Brown

When it comes to conferences, high impact presentations, and live event social media content, The Brainzooming Group is expert at shaping the right strategy and implementation to create unique attendee experiences before, during, and after an event. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can do the same for your event!

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2 Responses to “7 Takeaways on Strategy, Creativity, and Innovation from 2011 TED”

  1. I love how simplistic your list of seven takeaways is. But I’d like to ask your thoughts on the point about Imagination. It makes total sense to me that Imagination is the interplay between logic and intuition…as an adult. But what do you suppose gets us to that point as a child’s Imagination often excludes all logic and intuition but instead seems to operate using embellished snippets of the this and that formed into “concepts” that often times makes absolutely no sense except to the child who dreamed them up? At what point does our Imagination mature? And do you believe the Imaginations of say artistically creative people differ from creative business oriented people?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cheri –

      The three items in that list were presented as separate items. I don’t think imagination has to necessarily have anything to do with logic. As you point out with kids, imagination seems to be the ability to think without any boundaries. That’s how you get things which only make sense to the person who dreamed them up, since they alone know/get the context in which they’re thinking.

      I’m not sure our imagination matures as much as it is liable to get hemmed in by boundaries we learn as we develop/age. Some people are able to resist those boundaries and retain active imaginations. For others, there are ways to push the boundaries back; still others, however, embrace the boundaries and practically shut down their imaginations.

      In my view, how imagination plays out between “creative people” and “creative business people” is tied to how they think about things. The relative dominance of left or right brain-oriented thinking seems to foster different types and degrees of boundaries on imagination. That can definitely make their imaginations appear very different in how they’re applied.

      But as Dennis Miller used to say, “Of course that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong!”