Innovation

How to Come Up With Breakthrough Ideas

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Do you want to know where breakthrough ideas really come from? I’ll give you a clue: they don’t come from some lightning bolt in the sky.

Breakthrough ideas, almost invariably, are found at the intersection of two or more seemingly unconnected things. What do these intersections look like?

  • They look like Johannes Gutenberg connecting a wine processor and movable type and creating the printing press.
  • They look like Steve Jobs connecting computers and a college calligraphy class and creating ...
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You Don’t Have to Change the World to Be an Innovator

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If I were to ask you to name an innovation, what would you say?

The iPhone? The Tesla? The Internet?

Maybe not any of those three. But the odds are that whatever you name would be a biggie. Something groundbreaking and game changing.

And that’s kind of what we think innovation is. Something groundbreaking and game changing. We associate innovation with names like:

  • Steve Jobs
  • Marie Curie
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Elon Musk
  • Thomas Edison

And look, there’s no question that these people are innovation rock stars. If there were ...

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How to Be the Idea Person on Your Team

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Are all of your dots the same color?

I talk about dots a lot. That’s because dots are the key to innovation, creativity, and breakthrough thinking.

Most people get this wrong. They think that breakthrough ideas—the creative innovations that make the competition whimper like scared puppies—are the result of some divine lightning bolt that only strikes the gifted few. This is the common myth. But it’s just that—a myth.

The truth is that breakthrough ideas ...

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How to Win Against Your Competition

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I’ve been doing homework for the past week or so.

I’ve been doing homework because in a little over a week, I’ll be attending a business development workshop, and the workshop leader gave us the homework assignment. Since I want to get the most out of the workshop (and since the thought of getting in trouble from the teacher triggers upsetting high school memories), I’ve been diligently working.

One part of the homework has been particularly eye-opening.

There are four steps to this ...

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These Five Traits Will Make You A More Creative Thinker

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Quickly now—what do these things all have in common:

  • The iPhone
  • The Taj Mahal
  • Gluten-free bread
  • Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • The Golden Retriever

Give up?

They are all outcomes of creative thinking.

[You: “Wait a minute. The Golden Retriever is a dog, not the result of a creative idea!” Me: “Not so fast there, Sporty. The Golden Retriever was the result of a creative thinker saying, ‘If I breed a yellow Labrador Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel, I might get an ...

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The 3 Magic Questions To Unlock Your Creative Thinking

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Your business is dying.

Okay, that may not technically be true. It was meant to be a “grabber.” That said, it might be true.

You see, any business that isn’t continually coming up with creative solutions to business challenges is slowly dying. If it’s lucky. If it’s not lucky, it’s quickly dying.

There are three questions I like to use that will help you and your team unlock your creative brilliance and apply it directly to the challenge at hand. The three questions, ...

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