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p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au VIC, Australia 3184on Rd LPO, Elwood, Inventium http://www.inventium.com.au/ Back in 2006, Inventium’s founder, Dr Amantha Imber was working as a consumer psychologist in a big advertising agency. The agency had put her through a lot of creative thinking training which she loved. However, when she started getting deeper into researching the field, she realised that all these training companies had done was rip off Edward de Bono techniques from the 70s and re-package them as their own. She thought that, ironically, this was pretty uncreative. f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184 Amantha had always been a bit of a science geek and kept reading the jargon-filled academic journals long after leaving university. She noticed that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of studies being conducted around the world that looked at what variables increased a person’s ability to think more creatively and a company’s ability to innovate. However, she realised that there was a great divide between this great research that was being done in the world of academia, and what was actually getting used in the ‘real world’. So in 2007, she had the idea of starting a company that applied the science of psychology and neurology to boosting creativity and innovation - something that had never been done before. Since Inventium opened its doors, Amantha and her team, have helped literally thousands of people across Australia, the United States, the UK, Europe, Africa and New Zealand improve their ability to generate great ideas. p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184 5 Ways To Better Your not be something worth pursuing and applying. 2. Go deeper, attack from the core and Business Enterprise not just from the rim. All business Being in a business, any business, is hard. ideas have its core fundamentals to stick to and if you make positive What you need are some valuable insights changes to it, it can change the on how to better your business techniques whole system. Sudden changes aren’t going to be effective but a and how little changes here and there can provide a great deal. You have to be deeper analysis of the whole, and a insightful and creative in order to succeed, constructive upgrade can make a big impact. This is an extensive of the to become a stable and respected company, above approach. sacrifices and downfalls are normal. Below 3. Know when to back off and know are some techniques you can utilize to set when to strike. There is the dilemma your business feet firmly on the ground and of not being able to provide to all towards the right path. your clients. The need of one most definitely does not supersede that of 1. Attack from different angles, there is the other. Each client is important, always another way. If you feel like but there will come a time when you you are doing something deficient, will have to choose. If you can’t like there is this thing lacking and handle the demands of two, better you know you could do better, and let go of one of them in order for then do better. There is no limit to you to provide the best of what you what techniques you can come up can do to the remainder client. with; the only limit is the Losing one isn’t as hard as losing two effectiveness of the new techniques at the same time. you make. For example, how can 4. Walk in your client’s shoes, what do you make a 5 days’ worth of work they want really? Sometimes what compress into 3 days? Find ways, they ask isn’t what they need. If you exhaust all options and you will can provide more than what they arrive to a solution that may or may want, if you can solve their demands p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184 in a simpler form than what they This happens a lot in companies that deal require, suggest it to them. In a with similar problems for their various business, those with better ideas, better innovation techniques, those clients. I work with several advertising and media agencies and often the key issue for are the guys that get respected. many of their clients is generating Providing what is needed and not only what is asked for is the key to awareness for their products. When the prolonging your clients trust and agency tries to generate ideas on how to do loyalty. this, the strategies tend to revolve around 5. Follow other peoples lead. Ripping the same few media channels, such as TV, off other peoples work isn’t that print and outdoor campaigns, or creating a bad. Look at what other people have accomplished, look over what other viral video and posting it on YouTube. businesses did and follow their path. Research suggests that teams which have If you see a business enterprise that been together for a while develop a set of you want to be someday, take the steps they took and make it your entrenched assumptions, ways of doing own. It’s being wise that going to things and set patterns of behaviour. The lead your forward, good news is there is a cure: introducing a new member to the team. Studies show that when a new member joins a team, How to overcome existing assumptions, attitudes and behaviours are far less likely to be “Team-think” activated. The new person triggers new thoughts and behaviours. Most of us have been a victim of groupthink While it can be tempting to leave at some stage in our working lives. If you have been sitting with the same team for harmonious teams alone, rotating the past year, you’ve probably also become employees around to different teams regularly, say every 6–8 months, can a victim of ‘team-think’. considerably enhance creativity. p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184 When I run idea-generation sessions for Letting your mind wander wherever it clients, I almost always insist they invite needs to, starting with a blank canvas and people who do not work for their company. being free of rules are all considered I encourage them to include as diverse a conducive to creativity? However, the latest mix of people as possible. For example, in psychological research has shown the one workshop for a national postal services complete opposite. organisation, we had the artistic director of In one study, a group of adults was asked to a circus troupe, a creative director from an make a construction using Lego. One group advertising agency, an 18-year-old university student and a TV host. Needless was given no constraints; they were told that they could build whatever they liked. to say, the ideas generated in the workshop were wonderfully varied. The other group had several constraints placed upon them; they were told that their So, rather than try to think creatively on construction must contain no right-angled your own, try to partner up with someone joints and they could only use one kind of you don’t normally work with. Use them as brick. a springboard for fleshing out your ideas The constructions built by the ‘constraints’ and let them go in directions you wouldn’t if you were working on your own. Most group were judged to be significantly more creative and lateral than those in the ‘free importantly, listen to their input and be open to going in directions you would not expression’ group. normally. So why does this happen? When completing tasks, we typically draw on what we know Creativity loves rather than seeking new ideas and opinions. Often, information retrieval becomes boundaries automated in our brains because it is useful and saves us having to come up with new solutions every time we face a problem. In p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184 other words, when we are assigned a task Here are a couple of tips to help apply these to complete, our brains switch into findings: autopilot if it is a familiar problem. - Try to avoid taking on tasks that are open-ended and overly broad. If you find However, this autopilot mode dramatically yourself in this situation, challenge yourself impairs performance when we have to think to apply a constraint to the task to make of completely novel ideas. Constraining the yourself perform more creatively. way we think forces us to search for new - Whenever you feel yourself going into and creative ways of completing the task or autopilot, ask your boss to apply a solving the problem. In a paradoxical way, putting constraints on our tasks lifts the constraint to the task (or do it yourself). constraints on our thought processing.
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