As an innovation speaker I know the value of a creative mindset. I feel like I was just born that way, but anyone can develop the same creative mindset if they work at it. By work, I mean playful, fun work. Creativity is like a muscle. You have to use it for it to get better. But once you get in the groove the creativity just keeps flowing. And pretty soon it will become second nature,

Lessons from an innovation speaker

Building a creative mindset is crucial for fostering innovation and finding unique solutions to complex problems. Here are some key lessons from innovation speakers that can help you develop and nurture a creative mindset:

Embrace Curiosity

This is the first thing I would tell anyone is that you can’t be an inventor or innovator without being curious. Curiosity is the foundation of creativity. Stay open-minded, ask questions, and explore diverse perspectives. Have you ever noticed how many questions kids ask? They are infinitely curious. Challenge assumptions and seek new experiences to fuel your curiosity. Serendipity is the act of finding things you’re not looking for. That happens when you get out and experience new things. Meet new people. Try new foods. Take a trip to another city, state, or country.

Foster a Growth Mindset

Cultivate a belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and learning. Embrace challenges, view failures as opportunities for growth, and persist in the face of setbacks. The smartest people are the ones who are constantly learning new things. The more stuff you know, the more likely you are to constantly be innovating. Innovation speakers are constantly learning new things. There is always room to grow.

Embrace Failure

Failure is an inevitable part of the creative process. Innovation speakers often emphasize the importance of embracing failure as a valuable learning experience. Inventors know this well. We fail way more than we ever succeed. But we’ve become used to failure. I used to start a speech by giving everyone an F. I could see the disappointment in their eyes. What I meant by it was that if you’re not failing in creativity, you’re not doing it right.

You will fail way more than you will succeed. But that’s the point. You have to work through the failure to come up with something brilliant. A great idea doesn’t just land in your lap the first time. You have to go through a lot of junk to come up with a genius idea. Keep going. It will happen. Embrace the mindset that failure is a stepping stone to success and use it as an opportunity to iterate and improve.

Encourage Diverse Perspectives

Surround yourself with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and disciplines. Surround yourself with people who have a different point of view than you. And people who have different levels of education. Different jobs. You can learn something from a scientist just like you can learn from a janitor or cab driver. Engage in meaningful conversations and actively seek out diverse perspectives. This diversity of thought can lead to fresh ideas and innovative solutions.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness can enhance creativity by helping you stay present and fully engaged in the creative process. Take time to clear your mind, meditate, or engage in activities that promote mindfulness, such as yoga or walking in nature. Having a clear and relaxed mind helps creativity flow better. I’ve always liked the idea of a creative power walk. It releases endorphins and frees your mind to come up with new ideas. Our brains simply work better when they’re not stressed and filled with other things. Walking in nature gets your blood flowing without distractions like checking email.

By walking to a new place you will see new things and be exposed to new ideas. You never know what will trigger a brilliant idea from something you see. Or someone you meet along the way. Innovation speakers do this often to get new ideas.

Foster a Creative Environment

Surround yourself with inspiration. Many tech offices with creative employees are wide open spaces with foosball, arcade games and ping pong, juice bars, and lots of natural lighting. Companies like Google have themed floors, are dog friendly, and are built around play, which is conducive to creativity.

Design your workspace to reflect your creativity and provide stimuli that spark new ideas. Incorporate art, books, colors, and objects that inspire you. Create a physical and mental environment that encourages innovation. A creator’s workspace is a place that stimulates creativity in that person. Mine is a view of two beautiful trees in the front yard that fill the window with nature. And natural sunlight that boosts my mood.

Embrace Collaboration

Collaboration is a powerful catalyst for creativity. Covid took away a lot of our collaborative serendipity. Working from home in solitary is not as conducive to being the best situation for collaboration. I’m sure some people will disagree with that, but serendipity isn’t as likely to happen on a Zoom call. Collaboration is about looking at a challenge from different perspectives and finding a creative solution to a product together.

Engage in brainstorming sessions, collaborate with others on projects, and actively seek feedback from diverse perspectives. Collaboration can lead to a fusion of ideas and the emergence of innovative solutions.

Embrace Constraints

Constraints can actually enhance creativity by forcing you to think outside the box. Embrace limitations and use them as a creative challenge. Constraints can fuel innovation by pushing you to find inventive solutions within defined boundaries. This is what I do in my creativity workshop. It’s creativity on demand.

Cultivate a Playful Mindset

Playfulness can unlock your creativity by encouraging unconventional thinking. As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Engage in activities that stimulate your imagination, such as drawing, playing games, or engaging in improvisation exercises. In my ideation workshop, we do lots of improv games and creativity exercises to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking. Creativity should be fun and playful or your employees won’t want to do it.

Playfulness can help you approach problems with a fresh perspective. It’s like seeing life from a child’s eyes. Everything is new and fun.

Continuous Learning

Never stop learning and seeking new knowledge. Innovation speakers often emphasize the importance of staying updated with the latest trends, technologies, and industry developments. Engage in continuous learning through books, courses, workshops, or attending conferences to broaden your knowledge and inspire new ideas. Expand your mind and expose yourself to new topics and things you would normally not seek out.

Learn from an innovation speaker

Remember, building a creative mindset is a journey that requires consistent effort and practice. By embracing these lessons from innovation speakers and integrating them into your daily life, you can cultivate a creative mindset and unlock your full creative potential.