How to discover innovative ideas even if you are not a creative genius?

How to discover innovative ideas even if you are not a creative genius?

Author: Mayur Bardolia


innovative

People think it’s not possible to come up with innovative ideas and probably it’s true. Our mind goes blank.
You try harder and you are not too sure if it’s a good idea or not. But, You can come up with innovative ideas. Really? Yes, it’s possible to be creative even if you think you are not creative.

In this podcast, We are going to discuss how you too can find ideas and where to find ideas? Let’s find out, shall we?

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If you go to the United Kingdom, you will find that one of the most famous dishes is ‘Chicken Tikka Masala’. It sounds like an Indian dish. But it’s Britain’s unofficial national dish.
It’s quite surprising to know that the dish ‘Chicken Tikka Masala was invented accidentally. It wasn’t a set recipe. It was found in Glasgow, Scotland. It was created to satisfy the unsatisfied customer.
It’s said that it was found by Mr Ali Ahmed Aslam who is the owner of an Indian restaurant called ‘Shish Mahal, in Glasgow.  This man Ali Ahmed is the true creator of Chicken Tikka Masala.

Back in 1970, a customer visited his restaurant and he complained about the chicken being dry. He wanted something with gravy and must be tasty.
So, Mr Ali went to the kitchen and he decorated the dry chicken dish with a touch of his tomato soup and sprinkled spices. Then he served the dish to that customer. And needless to say, the customer went from unhappy to overjoyed. He was so happy that he kept returning time after time with his friends just to taste this beauty of a dish once more. He asked the owner, Mr Ali Ahmed Aslam, the name of the dish and Mr Ali Ahmed didn’t know the name of the dish. So, he randomly named the dish ‘Chicken Tikka Masala’.
And so, a star was born at the Shish Mahal. This dish has become one of the most authentic British Dish. Not only that, the parliament legally recognize Glasgow as the home of chicken tikka masala.

Most of the things around us are invented almost accidentally like this. They are not existing because of meticulously planned events. But how does it happen?
We need new ideas to run our business. People tell you “Oh, you have to be different? You have to be unique?” But is it really possible?How can We invent something? Is there a way to be creative? In this podcast, we are going to find out 3 things to create groundbreaking inventions.

  1. How to find more ideas?
  2. Why your creative ideas should not always be ‘NEW’?
  3. How do you find ideas from various resources?

Let’s dive in…

 

While creating this podcast, I have to do many things. Such as creating the structure of the article, outlining, finding the ideas, stories.
Then I have to create the entire script. Make sure everything is with correct grammar and words. Then I proofread to see if it makes sense or not. Then I record, rerecord if it doesn’t go well. Then the part comes when I have to add music. I have to edit the recording. I have to add the right music at the right time and at the right place. Then the recorded podcast episode passes through the post-production process to improve the quality.

It doesn’t just stop there.
I then have to upload on various podcast channels like iTunes, Google podcast, Anchor, Spotify and of course the website mayurbardolia.com. This is how each episode is created you see on my podcast channel ‘Love Your Business’ Podcast.

Hmmm. That’s a lot. There is a lot of things happening before you listen to these podcasts.
But the lengthiest part is not the first step as you heard earlier which is ‘Creating the structure of the article’. The most consuming part is something that happens before it, which is coming up with a theme or a central idea of the article or podcast. It’s a scary and frustrating part. It takes a lot of time to come up with the idea that I feel happy to create a podcast on.

I love doing it. And there is a selfish reason too.
By sharing my teaching and thoughts in public, I can develop more understanding and challenge myself to know what I don’t know.
Many times, I think of ideas and don’t even work on it because I am not quite happy with it. But I have to create more podcasts like this. So, it’s challenging to come up with an idea that I can create an article and podcast.

It’s not only challenging to me but for you and many others.
It’s challenging to come up with as many ideas as possible and as quickly as possible.
And How do I do it? In order to grow, you’ve got to be creative. You got to come up with solutions to problems. You got to come up with ideas, innovative ideas. That’s what runs the business.

So, what is the best way to boost creativity? Here’s the best thing I’ve ever, or I would say the best tool you will ever get to boost your creativity.
It’s a deadline. You got to give yourself a deadline.
I sometimes don’t get ideas if I have to write an article or create a course after 3 or 4 weeks. But the morning I have to write or create them I’ll come up with 5- 10 more ideas. And I mean it’s not even hard. They just come. There is something about you are listening or reading this today that makes those ideas come. It’s not the mic, camera, script or software. It’s deadlines. So, if you are not giving your problems deadlines, they are much less likely to be solved.

How do you get creative?
Give yourself a deadline to come up with a solution.  You’ll be amazed at how well you come up with a solution. Write down the big three problems that you’ve got to solve and write down a deadline to solve those problems and make those deadlines serious. Stick with those deadlines. Don’t let them pass. The day that the problem is supposed to be solved, you’ll be amazed at how creative you will be in coming up with those solutions.

So that takes us to the second part.

 

Why your creative ideas should not always be ‘NEW’?
In the year 2000, there was an Olympic event. Speedo company based in Nottingham, England. who makes swimwear and swim-related accessories, hired Jenny Thompson to test their swimsuits before the 2000 Olympic event. Jenny Thompson won gold medals in 1992 and 1996 Olympics. But she hated this new swimsuit designed by Speedo. She found it very tight. It covered her entire body. She didn’t like it because it was rough. It wasn’t smooth like other swimsuits. Jenny Thompson wasn’t even feeling comfortable and confident.

But when the experiment was done, she finished much quicker in the new speedo swimwear than the previous one.
The new swimming costume by speedo performed better than other swimming costumes. The swimmers didn’t like to wear but their performance was improved. Now the question is: How this rough swimsuit against the smoother swimsuits that covers the entire body can help swimmer perform better. This swimsuit was designed by a lady called Fiona Fairhurst.

Fiona Fairhurst was hired by Speedo in 1997 to create a swimsuit that makes swimmers swim faster.
She has been the industry of textile and she also has been a swimmer in her teenage time. Interestingly, Fiona did not study the competitors. She didn’t study what some of the fastest swimmers and their strategies. On the contrary, she did completely different. She studied what works fast. She studied torpedos and she designed the swimsuits that cover the entire body. It was restrictive but it was also straightening the entire body with least resistance whilst swimming. As a result? The swimmer started swimming faster.

She found the biggest mind-shift when she visited the Natural history museum in London.
She studied a dead shark under the microscope. Sharks are one of the fastest swimmers in the ocean. But the skin of the sharks is not smooth. It’s grooved and hard. The nose of the shark is rough too. Yet, it’s fascinating to know how a shark can swim so fast in the ocean.

Instead of what others were busy with designing a smoother swimsuit,
Fiona Fairhurst was creating the swimsuit that makes swimmers swim faster as sharks.
Against what others were doing, she was working on researching and finding material that would allow her to design swimwear that would copy this ridgy feel.


On further research, scientists later found out that sharks’ rough nose reduced drag and increased thrust.
But before knowing the science completely, Fairhurst created the “Fastskin” swimsuit that was the real champion of the 2000 Olympics. Because it made the swimmers much faster! And 83% of the medals were won by swimmers wearing these new and uncomfortable Speedo suits! It sounds easy to hear that to create faster swimsuits, learn from the fastest fish in the ocean. But it’s not too obvious. Half the things Fairhurst studied didn’t help her. But it was essential. And wastage was unavoidable. Every successful scientist has a long list of failed ideas behind their breakthrough. Failures are unavoidable.

It’s been said that you need to be a specialist or expert in ONLY one particular area. That’s not entirely true.
Everything that you see around is somehow connected with each other.
You will find great ideas when you think like no one else is thinking. You don’t need to expect all of your ideas to work out. But you still need to try many things and then you will know which ideas will work. That’s why you have to study not only deeply but also widely. You will never know how your great ideas will pop out. Once you find the breakthrough, your wasted efforts become valuable too.

So, how are you going to do it?

  1. Find out what characteristics you are looking for
  2. and then find out the ideas from various fields that match these characteristics.

That takes us to the final part. 

 

On December 1, 1913, Henry Ford installs the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile.
His innovation reduced the time it took to build a car from more than 12 hours to two hours and 30 minutes.
Ford’s Model T, introduced in 1908, was simple, sturdy and relatively inexpensive–but not inexpensive enough for Ford, who was determined to build “motor car[s] for the mass audience. In order to lower the price of his cars, Ford figured, he would just have to find a way to build them more efficiently.

Ford had been trying to increase his factories’ productivity for years.
They also hired motion-study expert Frederick Taylor to speed up the production and to make those jobs even more efficient. Meanwhile, he built machines that could stamp out parts automatically (and much more quickly than even the fastest human worker could).

The most significant piece of Ford’s efficiency crusade was the assembly line.
Inspired by the continuous-flow production methods used by flour mills, breweries, and industrial bakeries, along with the disassembly of animal carcasses in Chicago’s meat-packing plants, Ford installed moving lines for bits and pieces of the manufacturing process: In December 1913, he unveiled the moving-chassis assembly line.

In February 1914, Ford produced more and more cars, and on June 4, 1924, the 10-millionth car of Model T rolled off.
They did not work on how to clean and set up properly between the production of different models. The process of cleaning and setting things is required to change the production of different models. It can not be hurried too. But Ford wanted to solve it anyhow.

Henry Ford didn’t call his team and ask them to provide their automobile engineering solutions.
Instead, they focused on how to use continuous-flow production methods used by flour mills, breweries, industrial bakeries and also Chicago’s meat-packing plants, Ford installed moving lines for bits and pieces of the manufacturing process.
They studied the process of the assembly line from the whole different industry than the automobile. When these technicians came back to work, they got together. And figured out how to cut the hours-long switching time to some minutes!

People keep saying that ‘Oh, this won’t work for me’. It’s not entirely true.
You don’t need to stop yourself. Most people spend all their time finding reasons why ideas from other industries won’t work for their case. Ask any consultant and he will tell you that the objection he hears most often is: “that worked well for them but it won’t work for me.”
And they are not completely to blame. Because yes all the ideas won’t work equally well. But you have to put in the effort and go beyond the resistance to make this excuse. Because that’s how Henry Ford used the ideas from the Chicago meatpacking industry to streamline automobile manufacturing. And that’s how McDonald’s learnt from banks and created the drive-through lanes for ordering food on the go.

Isolate your problem characteristic. And then cast a wide net and find out everyone who has solved similar problems.
You need to get rid of all your assumptions and start from scratch. This may lead to chasing unrelated ideas and many dead ends, but it’ll also lead to huge breakthroughs. Study the different subjects and study everyone who has solved similar problems. That takes us to the end of the podcast.

 

Let’s summarise what we have covered so far.
Most of the things around us are invented almost accidentally. They are not existing because of meticulously planned events. How can We invent something? Is there a way to be creative? In this podcast, we have discussed 3 things to create groundbreaking inventions.

First, we talked about what is the best way to boost creativity?
One of the best tools I use to boost creativity is ‘setting a deadline’. You got to give yourself a deadline.
If you are not giving your problems deadlines, they are much less likely to be solved. How do you get creative? Give yourself a deadline to come up with a solution.  You’ll be amazed at how well you come up with a solution. Stick with those deadlines. Don’t let them pass. The day that the problem is supposed to be solved, you’ll be amazed at how creative you will be in coming up with those solutions.

Then in the second part, We talked about the swimsuit designed by Fiona Fairhurst who was hired by Speedo swimwear company.
She was asked to create a swimsuit that makes swimmer swim faster.
Surprisingly, her newly designed swimsuit was rough and was covering the whole body. It’s quite against what others believe that swimsuit has to be smooth.

She studied sharks.
Now, sharks are the fastest swimmers in the ocean. The shark’s body and especially the nose is rough.
Fairhurst created the “Fastskin” swimsuit that was the real champion of the 2000 Olympics. Because it made the swimmers much faster! And 83% of the medals were won by swimmers wearing these new and uncomfortable Speedo suits!

Every successful scientist has a long list of failed ideas behind their breakthrough. Failures are unavoidable. You don’t need to expect all of your ideas to work out. But you still need to try many things and then you will know which ideas will work. That’s why you have to study not only deeply but also widely. You will never know how your great ideas will pop out. So, how are you going to do it?

  1. Find out what characteristics you are looking for
  2. and then find out the ideas from various fields that match these characteristics.

Then in the final part, We covered how Ford Motors increased its efficiency and productivity.
They did not apply the latest technologies from automobile science. Henry Ford didn’t call his team and ask them to provide their automobile engineering solutions. Instead, they focused on how to use continuous-flow production methods used by flour mills, breweries, industrial bakeries and also Chicago’s meat-packing plants, Ford installed moving lines for bits and pieces of the manufacturing process. Most people spend all their time finding reasons why ideas from other industries won’t work for their case. And they are not completely to blame. Because yes all the ideas won’t work equally well. But you have to put in the effort and go beyond the resistance to make this excuse.

Isolate your problem characteristic. And then cast a wide net and find out everyone who has solved similar problems.

 

Next: What is the thinking process to separate yourself from your competition in whatever you’re doing? It can apply in any online or offline business.

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