Move the Hole!
I like what Edward deBono once said about the phenomenon of creative people trying to get results, but coming up empty (and I paraphrase). "If you are digging for oil and don't find any, move the hole!"
Pretty simple, eh? Sometimes, it seems as if aspiring innovators get fixated on a particular approach and, no matter what happens (or doesn't), they just keep doing the same old thing over and over again even when experience reveals that their approach is not working.
Of course, it's always possible that other factors are at play:
1. Perhaps the hole you've dug is too shallow and success is only a few shovelfuls away. Digger deeper, then, makes sense. Always possible.
2. Maybe you're digging in the right place, but the tools you're digging with are not the right tools for the job.
3. And, of course, it's always possible that in your effort to discover oil, you don't see the unexpected diamonds and gold coins you stumble upon because everything that is "not oil" is invisible to you.
So, let's make this real for a moment. Think of a project you are working on -- one you have passion for whose results have been slower to materialize than you hoped. Got it? Good. Now answer the following before doing any more digging:
CAN YOU DIG THIS?
1. What are your instincts telling you about how to proceed? Have you dug the hole deep enough? Might it be time for you to move the hole? And if it is the time to move the hole, where might you move it? What are some new approaches to try? Other places to look?
2. If you sense that you haven't dug deep enough -- that you've been a dilettante, slacker, or half-hearted digger for oil -- what can you do to martial your forces and commit to a more rigorous digging effort? And what support, if any, might you need?
3. If, in your digging adventures, you have stumbled upon some unexpected "finds", but dismissed them because you were only focused on oil, how might you extract the value from your accidental discoveries?
By the way, 75% of all product breakthroughs are NOT the result of strategic plans or "intentional effort", but the result of serendipity and "happy accidents" -- what happens when the open-minded innovator "stumbles" on something intriguing, pauses, and makes the right kind of effort to see if this discovery has value and is worth pursuing.April 04, 2016
What's the Key to Your Success?
Bring your most passionate project to mind -- the ONE THING you are excited about manifesting. Maybe it's just sitting there like a lump. Or maybe you are making progress every day. Whatever it is, take a look at the list below and CHOOSE the one quality you need more of in order to succeed. Once you've decided, consult our online GENIE. He can help. All you need is about 10 minutes. No charge.
10. Getting buy in
15. Letting go
17. Social media
PS: If what you need is not on the list above, it will be on THIS LIST.The Crowdsourced Birth of a New Book Beyond Business Innovation
Greetings! It's me, Mitch Ditkoff, author of this blog, President of Idea Champions, writer, speaker, husband, father, and dust particle. If you've been enjoying this blog, there is a good chance you will enjoy my forthcoming book. Towards that end, I have just launched a GoFundMe campaign and am inviting you to participate. We're talking crowd-sourced funding -- a way for me to buy the time and resources I need to write, produce, publish, and promote the book before hell freezes over. Hope you can be part of it! It takes a village... and a few village idiots!July 17, 2015
A Creative Tip from Einstein
February 17, 2015
On Being an Idea Champion
There's a reason why the expression "ideas are a dime a dozen" is so popular. Because they are. It's easy to get ideas. What's not so easy is championing ideas. And by "championing", I am referring to the kind of heroic commitment required to actually manifest those ideas. Here's my six-minute video elaboration on this often neglected topic. It's great that you have a new idea you care about. Wonderful. Now, ask yourself "What is it going to take for me to press through all the inevitable obstacles and bring this idea to life?"February 09, 2015
Innovation as a Happy Accident
A little known fact about innovation is that many breakthroughs have not been the result of genius, but "happy accidents" -- those surprise moments when an answer revealed itself for no particular reason.
The discovery of penicillin, for example, was the result of Alexander Fleming noting the formation of mold on the side of petri dish left uncleaned overnight.
Vulcanized Rubber was discovered in 1839 when Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped a lump of the polymer substance he was experimenting with onto his wife's cook stove.
More recently, 3M's post-it was also the result of an accident in the lab. Breakthroughs aren't always about invention, but the intervention required, by the aspiring innovator, to notice something new, unexpected, and intriguing.
LEARN FROM YOUR HAPPY ACCIDENTS:
1. Think about a recent project, pilot, or business of yours that did not turn out the way you expected.
2. Ask yourself if any of the unexpected results offer you a clue or insight about how you might proceed differently.
3. Instead of interpreting your results as "failure," consider the fact that the results are simply nature's way of getting you to see something new -- something that merits further exploration.October 21, 2014
What Does This Picture Mean to You? September 13, 2014
JUST RELEASED -- Citizens of the Earth
Here's a powerful, 2-minute video, that supports the message of the International Day of Peace. If you would like to encourage your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and customers to pause for a moment and reflect on the need for peace, this is a good link to send them.March 29, 2014
That Big Beautiful Idea of Yours
What big, beautiful idea of yours needs just the right touch of collaboration, support, and immersion to see the light of day? Your next step? And when will you take it?May 23, 2013
Our Top 10 Huffington Post Articles
You may not know this, but our semi-fearless leader and Co-Founder of Idea Champions, Mitch Ditkoff, is now blogging for the Huffington Post on a variety of topics. Below is a sampling. If you like what you read, FAN him so you can receive email alerts whenever a new article of his is published.March 02, 2013
The Gift of an Ordinary Day
I dedicate today's blog post to all Heart of Innovation readers who have grown children... or teenagers... or small children... or have ever been a child. Feel free to cry.
Why You Like Lists and Maybe Shouldn't
If you are a lover
you will probably find
my most recent
Huffington Post list
right up your alley.
If you, like Newton's
Third Law of Motion,
are the equal and opposite
reaction to lists,
you will find
Val Vadeboncouer's following
a refreshing breath of
20 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULDN'T MAKE LISTS
1. They exist in a vacuum with no context.
2. They over-simplify, sometimes dangerously so.
3. They promise instant knowledge and yet deliver usually nothing but an arbitrary and momentary series of the author's already-existing prejudices.
4. Lists seem to imply choices, however they are blind to the possibilities that didn't make the list -- usually unconsciously.
5. They give the illusion that the list maker KNOWS something, when all he/she might know is how to make a list.
6. Lists reinforce our ADD culture instead of fighting against it.
7. Lists appeal to the left brain need for order and linearity. They insist that the right brain not be engaged which tends to cut us off from feeling, intuition and life itself.
8. Lists are composed of sound bytes, otherwise known as unthinking chatter gathered from the chatter of those around us.
9. We grew up with lists (laundry lists, shopping lists, etc.) and, therefore, like bad habits, they represent a past and a self that does not exist any more.
10. Lists can be easily altered at any time -- updated, added to, subtracted from -- which should give us some indication as to their arbitrary nature and reveal to us that, instead of being finite, as they seem to be, they are, in reality, practically infinite.
11. Lists give us an instant opportunity to disagree. They take a stand somewhere and create an instant reaction. They create a push-pull, I-You dichotomy. If you want to pick a fight with someone, make a list and show it to them.
12. Lists give readers the hope that they are being given a "crash course" on a topic of great significance while all they are really being given is someone else's temporary illusions.
13. People feel no compunction about sharing lists, thereby spreading the infection virally.
14. Lists are numbered, which gives the items the seeming solidity of definition, order, and thought where none may exist.
15. Lists can be folded up, put in one's pocket, carried around, thrown away, and replaced by a new list -- part of the disposable nature of the consumer world.
16. Items on lists can be easily crossed off, giving the list maker an instant feeling of accomplishment when nothing of consequence has really been achieved.
17. Lists are great ways for list makers to plug their own books that, in the hyperlinked blogosphere, just adds to the clutter of narcissism that assaults us each and every minute.
18. Lists provide a sense of progression that, unless you are attempting to describe a step-by-step process (like a recipe), does not, most probably, exist outside of that particular list.
19. Lists add to the information overload of the world while providing little wisdom, which is in very short supply.
20. Lists are an example of how the left brain assumes command and tries to order the world so that the left brain can understand it, but this "order" is in piecemeal, disconnected fragments and gives us a truly sketchy, disjointed, and incomplete reality. In other words, lists can't be trusted.