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Having written the eBook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation,” it is obvious I take issue with “NOs” standing in the way of generating creative ideas and turning them into innovations that benefit others.

Recently though, I ran smack dab into a NO I hadn’t considered for a long time.

Creative Snobbery

This NO was a comment about what creative tools are appropriate and cool and which aren’t: : “NO, you can’t use THAT to be creative!”

My creative tools were labeled (without hesitation) as not appropriate and not cool. Even though the comments were delivered humorously within a fun conversation, this NO to creative ideas bugged me into the next morning (as I’m writing this).

Hmphhh

What’s interesting is amid the various NOs to innovation I encountered growing up, this NO (which I call “creative snobbery”), was definitely NOT present.

In fact, the attitude at our house was the quality, newness, and sometimes even presence of traditional creative tools, shouldn’t matter. The expectation was you work at what you want to do with what you have, and then maybe when you’ve demonstrated you’re actually sticking to it and improving, THEN maybe you might get better creative tools.

This is really another NO in disguise. It did lead, however, to appreciating folk art, found materials, and individuals and groups creating wonderful work beyond mainstream tools and techniques.

Creative Ideas However You Can Create Them

If you’re figuring out how to create and innovate with whatever tools you have? Fantastic!

Embrace whatever creative tools you or anyone else has. Sure, better tools WILL enhance your talent and may make creativity easier, but don’t overlook (or ostracize for heaven’s sake) the person who is using and compensating with creative tools other think inappropriate or uncool.

So here’s a creative NO you should embrace: NO creative snobbery! – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

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Taking the NO Out of InNOvation

Published on March 20, 2014 by in

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Struggling with why you’re running into innovation roadblocks?

“Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” reveals the 8 vital perspectives for becoming more innovative in your work and personal lives.

TTNOOI-Cover

1. Introspective

Create a stronger innovation perspective by understanding your distinctive talents.

2. Diverse

Surround yourself with a creative team that complements your distinctive talents.

3. Open to Possibilities

Hone your openness to what may today seem impossible or preposterous – that’s where you’ll find tomorrow’s innovation.

4. Inquisitive

Collect great questions that yield creative ideas and use them all the time.

5. Forgetful

Strike the right balance between using and turning off your expertise to boost creative thinking.

6. A Borrower

Borrow from any inputs you can to trigger creative ideas that you twist and shape to be your own.

7. A Creator

You have to do something with ideas. Selecting the best ones and moving forward with them is central to innovation.

8. Persistent

Innovation doesn’t necessarily come easy. When it comes to the “No” voices you’ll hear, be ready to dodge, morph, ignore, or otherwise blow them up. That takes persistence.

Summary

Mike Brown

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” for help on how to be more creative! For an organizational boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your innovation efforts.

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NoHaving written the eBook “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” and speaking on innovation and creativity topics for several years, I frequently hear about the impact of early NOs on people, especially those who tend to be perfectionists.

The Legacy of a NO to Creativity

When a perfectionist hears NOs about efforts where the rules used to judge an effort don’t really have any lasting significance or a performance was actually fine (if perhaps not perfect) yet they were told it fell short, it can have creatively devastating impacts. This is especially true when the NO comes from an authority figure or is heard repeatedly.

What are the legacies of the “no” messages kids hear?

When a kid gets one of these life-changing messages that runs completely counter to Taking the No Out of InNOvation, they can start:

  • Avoiding situations where there is potential for rejection.
  • Taking the “no” to mean they are bad, unskilled, or presumptuous to ever think of themselves as special.
  • Undercutting expectations of themselves rather than celebrating what they can do and risk failing to meet expectations.
  • Only giving slight hints to their capabilities and hoping someone will ask them to do more.
  • Not going out on a limb in situations where they might disappoint someone important.
  • Trying fewer things in life – perhaps only those things where they know they’ll be right.
  • Undervaluing their talents, causing them to wind up giving away too much of what they can do.
  • Delivering more than anyone can reasonably expect.
  • Remaining an “amateur” at many things because it’s safer than concentrating on one area and standing apart from others.
  • Depending on others to push them into new situations.

Taking the NO Out of InNOvation Later

It’s vital that parents, educators, and other authority figures in kids’ lives be tremendously careful: Make sure you aren’t doling out creative rejections or even imposing your own apprehensions about perfectionism and creative success on the kids in your lives.

Your “NO” today can have an impact on killing creativity for years to come. – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.


Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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From our experience with The Brainzooming Group and ongoing business innovation research, there are fairly common situations blocking business innovations across companies, irrespective of corporate culture. Not all ten of these challenges to business innovation in organizations exist everywhere, but the presence of just a couple of innovation barriers within a corporate culture will scuttle even modest dreams of implementing business innovations expected to create value for customers.

Download Taking the NO Out of InNOvation for Free!

The good news is none of these ten business innovation barriers are insurmountable. As a result it’s important to understand what business innovation challenge issues you face in your organization. With that understanding, you can take appropriate change management steps to navigate each innovation challenge, enhance your corporate culture, and get business innovation going. That’s what “Taking the No Out of InNOvation” is all about doing:

1. NO Knack for Disruptive Innovation

There simply isn’t an orientation toward business innovation in your corporate culture. It may be a mature industry, a company that’s had success with an intense focus, one that’s grown through M&A, or has been burned on previous formal innovation efforts. Whatever the reason, innovative ideas don’t appear to be in the company’s DNA.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

2. NO Direction

Without a top-level mandate for innovative change management, it’s tough for a business innovation-oriented corporate culture to flourish. It could be that innovation is outside the company’s vision, there’s no upper management champion for disruptive innovation, or a lack of alignment stands in the way of these efforts.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

3. NO Rocking the Boat

There’s an unmistakable signal within the corporate culture (whether it’s uttered directly by upper management or not): “If it isn’t broken, don’t mess with it. We’re not interested in risk taking; let’s just maintain the status quo.” These messages make it clear that good things don’t await those interested in innovative ideas or disruptive innovation.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

4. NO Talent Pool

The company may have convinced itself the right people aren’t in place to make innovative ideas happen. It could be a perceived lack of “creatives” or “outside the box” thinkers. More likely though, this innovation challenge stems from a failure to get people with diverse perspectives together and let them thrive in innovation teams. It’s more about diverse talent not working together than not having the right talent for effective innovation teams.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

5. There’s NO Tomorrow

This innovation challenge springs from the conviction things will be won or lost in the short term, so there’s little need for long term business innovation development. Or it may be there’s no patience for protracted realization of opportunities. If a business innovation is going to be pursued, it needs to be developed and start paying out by the next quarter. In a challenging business economic environment, this sentiment becomes more prevalent.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

6. NO Resources

As with the “no tomorrow” innovation challenge, lowered interest in applying resources to business innovation may be more acutely felt during periods of uncertainty and intense change. The absence of specific resources can be broad, including management attention, available time, and investment dollars. Without these vital inputs, innovative ideas often stall or never take off in the first place.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

7. NO Motivation to Innovate

Something’s lacking that dampens an internal drive to innovate. It could be an environment that doesn’t promote cooperation, no opportunity to receive credit for your effort, or a lack of other meaningful incentives to bring ideas forward and develop them. The net result is that innovation isn’t happening as naturally as it might.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

8. NO Process

There are instances where innovation appears to emanate naturally from the corporate culture. Chances are though that it’s been cultivated and developed through an innovation process, even if it’s a relatively small scale and informal one. Without some type of planning and organized innovation process, bureaucracy and innovation challenges in organizations can easily block innovative ideas from coming to fruition.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

9. NO Implementation Success

Innovative ideas and concepts are cool, but only have value ultimately if they lead to successful implementation and deliver benefits for the intended audience. There are various roadblocks to successful implementation, including flaws in how ideas are recommended, prioritized, developed, and marketed to target audiences. With all those potential change management and innovation challenge issues that exist, it’s a wonder anything new actually takes place!

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

10. No Measures

It’s difficult to sustain a formal business innovation strategy without metrics in place to report return on investment (ROI), showcase positive improvements, and troubleshoot issues with innovations. Even earlier in the innovation process, the absence of metrics makes identifying and prioritizing opportunities a shot in the dark. Simply put: no metrics = no hope of long term success from innovations.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

All the best to you in addressing the specific NO’s you face standing in the way of innovations your organization is seeking to identify and implement.

If you’d like more information on exploring the personal perspectives you need to approach your whole life more innovatively, you can download an eBook version of “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation.” It’s a great companion on your mission to bring business innovations to life! – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

If you’re facing a challenging organizational situation and are struggling to maintain forward progress because of it, The Brainzooming Group can provide a strategic sounding-board for you. We will apply our strategic thinking and implementation tools on a one-on-one basis to help you create greater organizational success. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you figure out how to work around your organizational challenges.


 

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The original “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” presentation and innovation ebook were developed when Max Utsler asked me to speak to his class at The University of Kansas on innovation perspectives in marketing communications. In many ways, that innovation presentation in 2004 started me down the career path I’ve been on ever since.

I’m back tonight with Max Utsler’s class sharing the “Taking the No Out of Innovation” presentation along with a new social media project Brainzooming is helping Max and Barrett Sydnor implement for their  fall semester classes at The University of Kansas. Dubbed “Blogapalooza” by Max, the social media project will introduce students to blogging and creating social media content in front of multiple audiences . . . but more on Blogapalooza later.

To make “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” presentation content more accessible from among the 1,000-plus posts on the Brainzooming blog, here are the 8 innovation perspectives contained in the presentation and links to supporting content reaching back to the earliest Brainzooming posts.

Introspective

Create a stronger innovation perspective by understanding your distinctive talents.

Diverse

Surround yourself with a creative team that complements your distinctive talents.

Forgetful

Strike the right balance between using and turning off your expertise to boost creative thinking.

Borrower

Borrow from any inputs you can to trigger creative ideas that you twist and shape to be your own.

Open to Possibilities

Hone your openness to what may today seem impossible or preposterous – that’s where you’ll find tomorrow’s innovation.

Inquisitive

Collect great questions that yield creative ideas and use them all the time.

A Creator

You have to do something with ideas. Selecting the best ones and moving forward with them is central to innovation.

Persistent

Innovation doesn’t necessarily come easy. When it comes to the “No” voices you’ll hear, be ready to dodge, morph, ignore, or otherwise blow them up. That takes persistence.

Summary

Mike Brown

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” for help on how to be more creative! For an organizational boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Taking the No Out of InNovation eBook

Published on November 8, 2009 by in

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“Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” – Free eBook

Ask nearly any business professional if innovation is important for career success and the answer is typically “YES.” Ask again if they’d like for themselves and their teams be more innovative, and you’ll usually hear it again, “YES.” But ask if they have an approach and techniques readily available to continually become more innovative, and you’ll likely hear “NO.” If these answers sound like they’re yours, you’ll benefit from Mike Brown’s ebook that helps take the “NO” out of InNOvation. It addresses eight approaches, helping you embrace ways to:
  • Exploit the creativity you already possess
  • Open up to a more creative perspective on life
  • Get started benefiting from creativity tools you can use right away
The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

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