Creative Thinking Starts Here

What does it take to be a little more imaginative when it comes to solving challenges at work, at home, or even in the world?  That’s a question we’ve been pondering lately.

It seems that creative solutions start with two essentials:

  • First, you must NOTICE helpful information out there in the world. This may sound insultingly obvious, but it REALLY does take a certain mindset to notice what’s around you. You must come to the world with a sense of curiosity and an open mind.

  • Second, you must CARE enough to do something with the information you find. It’s the difference between meaning to organize your next career move and actually doing it. ☹

Here’s a story that really brought this lesson home for us:

In 1989, a hair stylist in Alabama, Phil McCrory, was in his salon and noticed CNN’s coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.  In front of him was a client with well, duh, human hair and it got him thinking: “How might human hair be used to absorb oil?”

That moment of noticing and subsequently caring, led him to work with scientists at NASA to eventually validate that hair is super effective in soaking up oil and today, fibre mats are made from salon-collected hair and used as a planet-friendly solution to cleaning up major oil spills. 

 Imagine that! Such a game-changing solution from just noticing a news story, paying attention to what’s in front of you and caring enough to push your idea forward!

It really makes you think: what solutions are just waiting out there for you to notice them?  How might noticing trigger great things?

So, here’s a challenge for the week: think about something you are trying to solve and actively seek out solutions this week.  Don’t force this, just commit to noticing what’s around you.  Solutions can come from anywhere: a book you are reading, a conversation with a friend, a podcast, a game or endless other stimuli you bump up against in the course of a day.

See what possibilities curiosity and an open mind reveal.

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