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Think Big: How to Find Better Ideas

Small Thinking And Big Thinking

Companies, teams and individual achievers are sharply focused on achieving goals. But this focus on completion often limits the scope of the results and stifles innovation.

There is a time and place for problem-solving efficiency. But the regularity and pervasiveness of expansive thinking will actually solve problems you haven't yet identified, bringing greater efficiency, and giving you more time to execute big ideas.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Think Big: How to Find Better Ideas

Think Big: How to Find Better Ideas

https://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/how-to-think-big-3-ways.html

inc.com

4

Key Ideas

Small Thinking And Big Thinking

Companies, teams and individual achievers are sharply focused on achieving goals. But this focus on completion often limits the scope of the results and stifles innovation.

There is a time and place for problem-solving efficiency. But the regularity and pervasiveness of expansive thinking will actually solve problems you haven't yet identified, bringing greater efficiency, and giving you more time to execute big ideas.

Create Specified Time For Thinking

Set aside time to tackle a problem and then use the entire time. Don't head for the door after the first good idea, as there may be bigger and better ideas to come.

Encourage Outside Learning

Bring facilitation techniques to encourage participation.

By giving team members time and resources to grow, learn, and explore you get a better quality and wider brainstorming. 

Reward Expansive Results

To better attract and maintain expansive thinkers, track the results of all progress made from expansive thinking sessions. Reward the teams and celebrate the accomplishments emphasizing the process and its benefits

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Use the why lens

Great leaders only solve problems within their control. Ones connected to their biggest why. They ask:

  • Is this our problem?
  • Why should we solve this problem?
  • What ...
Problems as opportunities

Problems fuel great leaders, providing opportunities to learn and grow to the next level. 

The greater the problem, the hungrier they are for a solution. Leaders like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates view problems as golden opportunities to disrupt the market and revolutionize the customer experience.

Acknowledging the problem

Great leaders acknowledge there is a problem and demonstrate the severity of the problem and the benefit of the solution to stakeholders, partners, and shareholders. 

This way, the leader not only takes responsibility for making the problem transparent, but he or she also explores different dimensions of the problem, consequently benefiting from others’ ideas.

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Effective communication

... is imperative for every successful business. Poor communication inevitably causes misunderstandings, confusion and conflicts that hinder productivity and professi...

Effective Communication is vital in business
  • It helps to create effective brand messaging.  It determines how your brand is perceived and also builds trust with customers.
  • Customer service relies on good communication. "60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience."  Microsoft’s 2016 Global State of Customer Service Report.
  • It enables positive team relationships.  Effective communication helps to unite teams and create a safe environment to express themselves.
  • It helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. It can help to defuse a potentially explosive dispute while bad communication can set it off.

Worst Communication Mistakes
  1. Using a One-Size-Fits-All Communication Approach. Tailor the communication style to the intended audience.
  2. Speaking More and Listening Less. Listen to what is said, how it is said, and to what is not said.
  3. Assuming Instead of Asking More Questions.
  4. Using Negative Tone. Choose words carefully to eliminate negative reactions.
  5. Avoiding Difficult Conversations.

  6. Reacting, Not Responding.

  7. Not Keeping an Open Mind. Accept and respect differences, listen without judgment and consider all sides of an issue.

Small And Innovative

Large corporations seem to lose their ability to innovate, something that they could do when they were small and nimble.

These big companies buy smaller companies, who are innovative despite...

Limited Resources

Struggling with limited resources is a good formula for small companies, but is not easy to replicate in large corporations.

Innovation comes when companies are not focused on new ways to sell old successful products by re-marketing or repackaging them but to invent new products and compete in new industries.

A Do Or Die Situation

Human beings as a species are not built for abundance and paradoxically achieve peak productivity with constraints and limited resources.

There is no 'circle of safety' in small companies, and survival is a very real concern. This makes the people pull themselves together and out-think their problems, succeeding by effort, not by financial resources.

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Brainstorming

It encourages people to come up with thoughts and ideas that can, at first, seem a bit crazy. Some of these ideas can be crafted into original, creative solutions to a problem, while others can ...

Brainstorming for problem solving
  • It brings team members' diverse experience into play. It increases the richness of ideas explored, which means that you can often find better solutions.
  • It can help you get buy-in from team members for the solution chosen – after all, they're likely to be more committed to an approach if they were involved in developing it. 
  • It helps team members bond, as they solve problems in a positive, rewarding environment.
Why individual brainstorming might bring better results
  • groups aren't always strict in following the rules of brainstorming, and bad behaviors creep in
  • people pay so much attention to other people that they don't generate ideas of their own – or they forget these ideas while they wait for their turn to speak. 

On your own, you don't have to worry about other people's egos or opinions, and you can be freer and more creative.

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Output comes from input

If you want to have a lot of good ideas, you need to expose yourself to good ideas.

This means reading books, having conversations with interesting people, seeking out new experiences,...

Have a capture mechanism

Creative ideas often come to you when you’re not deliberately trying to solve a problem, when your mind is relaxed.

That's why your creative process must include a system to capture ideas when you have them, so you can work on them later. The simplest mechanism is simply to have a list where you keep ideas.

Incubate your ideas

Regularly review your ideas lists. Incubation helps because just as a spontaneous connection can generate an idea, an incubated idea can spontaneously mature into a plan of action if you take care of it.

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Feedback
Feedback

Feedback provides an opportunity to gain insights about a person's personal and professional actions.
Without feedback, we will move in the same direction without realizing our shortcomings. ...

Types of feedback
  • Positive vs. negative. Positive feedback confirms that someone is taking good action, while negative feedback shows what actions need to be corrected.
  • Formal vs. informal. Formal feedback is given on a set schedule, and informal feedback is short and follows after an action or event.
  • Annual vs. monthly
  • Verbal vs. written
  • Manager vs. peer
Effective feedback
Effective feedback is:
  • Objective. Don't let your personal feelings get in the way.
  • Timely. Feedback should follow when the event is still fresh.
  • Constructive. Give respect and show that you have their best interests in mind.
  • Actionable. Feedback must include immediate next steps.
  • Warranted. Give your employees room for mistakes and learn from them.

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Continuous improvement
Continuous improvement

Is an ongoing effort to improve all elements of an organization - processes, tools, products, services, etc. 

It rests on the belief that a steady stream of improvements, diligent...

3 Practices for Continuous improvement
  • Performance transparency: it starts with making goals public and cascading those goals  in a way that is tailored to individuals at all levels of the organization.
  • Knowledge sharing: critical to scaling best practices across (and up and down) organizations.
  • Employee involvement: frontline employees are closest to the work and typically have the richest insights on how their work can be done better. Capturing their perspectives is critical.
5. Read For Immediate Rewards

Studies show that there’s correlation between human behavior change and immediate rewards. Receiving immediate rewards releases dopamine in our brains, which compels us to seek more of the a...

4. Use Triggers to Your Advantage

We often start habits and drop them a few days later. To combat this, you can use triggers to remind you to practice the habit. Examples of triggers:

  • Reading at the same time everyday will prime your brain to automatically trigger itself to begin reading.
  • Leaving your books in places you will easily see is another trigger. If you read books digitally you could pin your tab so it’s always in your visual perspective.
3. Stop Before You’re Finished

Studies indicate that the Zeigarnik Effect is real. It says you are more likely to recall uncompleted tasks than completed ones.

Knowing this pattern of our brains, we can trick it by forcing cliffhangers when we’re reading books. It’s hard to stop reading in the most interesting part but it will make you want to start reading again.

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How Ideas are Made

Generating ideas is the process of finding new connections between old ideas.

We have to be able to connect the dots, cross-pollinate ideas from various disciplines, and combine ...

Seth Godin
Seth Godin

"Someone asked me where I get all my good ideas, explaining that it takes him a month or two to come up with one and I seem to have more than that. I asked him how many bad ideas he has every month. He paused and said, 'None.'"

A Safe Environment

Create a safe place, free from criticism, because we tend to clam up if we feel like we're going to be criticized.

Rather than criticizing what you don't like, focus on getting ideas out in the open so you can build on them.

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