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How to Become a Breakthrough Thinker in Two Easy Steps

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In a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world, the next breakthrough idea wins.

Depending on how you feel about #innovation, #creativity, and #breakthrough thinking, you may find this concept either frightening or exhilarating.

Depending on how you feel about #innovation, #creativity, and #breakthrough thinking, you may find this concept either frightening or exhilarating. #breakthroughthinking Click To Tweet

It’s frightening if you think of innovation, creativity, and breakthrough thinking as specialized skills that are only available to “the others.”

It’s exhilarating if you realize that innovation, creativity, and breakthrough thinking are natural human traits that are available to us all.

It's exhilarating if you realize that #innovation, #creativity, and #breakthrough thinking are natural human traits that are available to us all. #breakthroughthinking Click To Tweet

In other words, if you think that innovation exists solely in the realm of “the others,” then all you can do is wait nervously, and then react when it happens to you. You have no control. That’s frightening.

But when you do have control — when you realize that you have as much access to innovative, creative, breakthrough ideas as anyone else — it becomes exhilarating! Because at that point, you realize that the next breakthrough idea — the game changer that can elevate your business, your industry, your community — could, in fact, be yours!

So how do you get there?

Two steps:

  1. Collect dots.
  2. Connect dots.

Before that, though, you have to understand one thing about breakthrough ideas:

Breakthrough ideas are never created out of thin air. Breakthrough ideas are created when someone (or a team of someones) connects two or more dots — ideas, experiences, people — in a way that nobody else ever has before.

Gutenberg connected two dots — a wine processor and movable type, both of which already existed — in a way that nobody else ever had before and invented the printing press.

That’s the way it works.

So, the breakthrough idea is all about connecting dots. But in order to connect two or more dots, those dots have to be on your radar in the first place. Makes sense, right? If Gutenberg had never experienced a wine processor — if it wasn’t on  his radar — he couldn’t have created the printing press.

The #breakthrough idea is all about connecting dots. But in order to connect two or more dots, those dots have to be on your radar in the first place. #breakthroughidea #innovation Click To Tweet

That’s why you need to be a dot collector. Everything you read, everything you listen to, everything you watch, everyone you talk to — these are all dots on your radar. And if they’re all the same — if you only read similar things, if you only listen to similar things, if you only watch similar things, if you only talk to similar people — then all of your connections will be same. Not exactly breakthrough.

So I urge you to broaden your experiences. Open yourself up to new and different ideas, new and different viewpoints, new and different people.

Because the more dots you collect — and the more different they are — the more creative your connections will be.

And that’s when you become a breakthrough thinker.

 

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About the Author:

For 15 years, Executive Producer and Hall of Fame speaker Bill Stainton, CSP led his team to more than 100 Emmy Awards and 10 straight years of #1 ratings. Today Bill helps leaders achieve those kinds of results--in THEIR world and with THEIR teams.
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