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Local business owners need ideas–a lot of ideas. The difference between success and failure of any idea is the level of creativity.

It is not unusual to become uncomfortable when looking at potential from a stretch position. It is essential as leaders of our local businesses to discover new possibilities, opportunities, and creative ideas. While we are taught to live and trust in a world of standards and norms, how do we disrupt the status quo in a manner that is beneficial to others? We need to look at a world that is always in flux and address the crazy ideas that no one else is considering.

First, we need to reframe the current problems to see things differently. Look at the pain points of your customers from multiple perspectives. Perhaps that new angle will show you what everyone else has missed.

Become more focused on everything around you. There are many possible ideas to be perceived. The ideas may develop when you look at things with a higher level of scrutiny and remember–question everything.

Creativity depends considerably on the environment in which you spend most of your time. Does it stimulate or stifle you? Sometimes, just taking a walk outside will help generate new ideas or solutions.

There will always be changes in both your professional and personal life. We tend to miss many of them because we are focused on the task at hand. Consider that everything we miss is a possible solution waiting to be identified if we only ask, “why?” While it is impossible to capture everything, try to capture some of the things.

Start asking your questions differently. Answering several questions about the same problem increases creativity. It is imperative to find the right question. This means you must pose a question that other people are trying to answer. This question needs to be relevant to other people but needs to have your particular perspective.

It would help if you established rules and procedures for innovation. This may sound crazy, but you need some default. Having this will help you foster an environment of creativity and innovation. There will be failures along the way, but the defaults will help you better deal with them and move forward.

You may want to try using mashups. This process looks like combining completely unrelated things to develop new ideas and new ways to do something. Taking items that do not seem to go together and trying to apply them in new ways creates a whole new world of possibility.

When thinking about new ways to solve customer pain points, include as many people as possible. They may have completely different ideas and perspectives that provide new insights into your problem-solving process. In addition, this may provide customer validation to your solutions.

Another way to bring other people’s thinking into the process is to encourage teamwork among your teams. Let teams working on different projects work together to gain fresh perspectives. Doing this will also promote the sharing of experiences, styles, and skills. 

Finally, allow experimentation. Yes–there will be failures–this is the greatest place of growth and learning. It is also the most uncomfortable. These failures may lead to solutions to problems that you did not know needed solving.

 

Any business looking to grow needs new ideas. Consider allowing your team to explore in new ways–and thrive.

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