Creativity & Innovation
| Brig. (Dr) Sunil Kumar Moudgil (Retd) - 01 Aug 2020

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
 This article is meant to create a self-directed learning attitude to generate, develop & implement ideas for personal, professional and business growth. Creativity is the capability or act of conceiving something original or unusual. Innovation is the implementation of something new. It increases your chances to react to changes and discover new opportunities. Innovation gives that competitive edge that any business or a professional is striving to achieve. 
Attributes of a Creative Person:
• Super Positive & Super Passionate
• Ready to go till the Depth 
• Open to Learn
• Energetic & solution focused
• Think out of box
• Imaginative & Curious
• Not afraid to experiment
• Constantly challenges oneself
 A Few Techniques of ‘Creativity & Innovation’:
1. Mind Map: It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. For vibrancy and visibly striking ‘Mind Maps’ are created as follows: 
a. To get flexibility, start in the center of a blank page turned sideways.  
b. Use an images and pictures for central idea, sub-idea and sub sub-idea etc. 
c. Use colors throughout for vibrancy. 
d. Make branches curved rather than straight-lined, to look interesting. 
2. Brain Storming: It is a process for generating creative ideas and solutions through group discussion. Every participant is encouraged to think aloud and suggest as many ideas as possible, no matter seemingly how outlandish or bizarre. 
Guidelines of Brain Storming:
• Participants are aware about the agenda
• Neutral and relaxed place for brain storming 
• Everyone has equal say
• All ideas being equally valued
• One person is nominated to record all the ideas. At recording stage:
– No criticizing 
– No questioning
– No interruption
– No judging / evaluating
– No discussing 
Selection of Ideas:
a.  Select the best ideas. (by voting)
b.  Consensus on top few ideas.
Developing Ideas:     
a. Choose one selected idea at a time.
b. Discuss the pros & cons. 
c.  Once selected, start developing the idea.
      Brain Storming Method: 
a. Defining a problem/an improvement you are looking for.
b. Record ideas for its solution.
c. Select & Develop ideas.
d. Implement Solutions.    
3. Reverse Brain Storming: 
 In Reverse Brain Storming technique, creative ideas and solutions are generated by making the statement/problem negative. For example, if you are dealing with your semester performance issues, list all the ways you could make semester performance bad. Once you generate negative ideas then convert them in positive. 
4. SCAMPER: It is an abbreviation and it refers to a series of thought sparkers or provocations which help you to innovate on an existing product, service, or situation by looking through different lenses. There are seven provocation lenses in the SCAMPER method such as Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify/Magnify/Minify, Put to another use, Eliminate and Reverse. 
Five steps to use SCAMPER method:
a. Take an existing product, service or idea which you want to improve.
b. Then, simply ask questions regarding each of the seven elements (SCAMPER). 
c. Apply the questions to values, benefits, services, touch points, product attributes, pricing, markets and essentially any other related aspect you might be able to think of that has relevance to your ideation needs.
d. Look at the answers that you came up with. Do any of the answers stand out as viable solutions? 
e. Take a good idea and explore it further. 
 For example, McDonald (revolutionized the old style of restaurant experience) has already done all the hard work, it is now easy for us to identify some of the ideas it used in the SCAMPER method: 
• Put to other uses: Selling restaurants and real estate instead of just simply hamburgers.
• Eliminate: Letting customers serve themselves and thereby avoiding the use of expensive waiters.
• Rearrange: Having customers pay before they eat.
  Author’s Recommendation:
We see most things around us such as objects, buildings, spaces, materials, technology, processes, systems & customer etc. through the lens of habit and familiarity. We take them for granted, overlooking numerous other possibilities.  By challenging to ask yourself “What else can I do with these?” will lead to new discoveries and ideas. 
Happy learning & exploring new ideas!
 
 



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