Ideas- the engine to innovation

To be innovative you need to be creative. The good news is you ARE already creative.


You may not see yourself as creative just yet. But the reality is that we all enter this world on a level playing field. As children we have curiosity, imagination and a natural creative ability that shines in everything we do - from using our imagination to entertain ourselves, to creative expression through drawing and making things.

Unfortunately as we get older our education, schooling and social conditioning discourages creativity and for most of us it gets suppressed. To unleash this creativity we need to become kids again. The average adult asks about 7 probing questions a day, which is great. Probing questions are all great ways of generating insights and ideas for innovation. Here's some simple probing questions: "what would happen if we got rid of....?""why do we have to….?""what is a …….?" "how does it work…..?"

Asking 7 questions a day however is a pretty small number when we compare it to the 150 probing questions that children ask each day. That childlike probing questioning is a key way of rediscovering your ideation engine for innovation.

Have you ever noticed that the most creative people often have a child’s sense of fun and adventure? Think of Richard Branson: who would have ever thought of creating a PR stunt involving running around naked to promote a new product? Someone with a wicked sense of fun and adventure like Branson, that’s who. Albert Einstein is another classic example. Einstein loved to play mind games. He imagined himself riding light beams between the earth and the sun. These creative visualisations eventually led him to formulate his revolutionary principles.

Approaching ideas generation with a ‘playing a game’ mentality, will make your journey that much more enjoyable, and the output more unexpected. Whether that means you put on a stupid hat, or play a game of hide and seek with the dog - find something which unleashes your inner child. For some of us this will be rather easy! Not only will this change your energy levels, but it will open up your imagination and remove the realms of the norm. The more childlike and open to the possibility you are - the better your ideas will be.
Play as many games as you can as you continue along your innovation journey. The more fun you have and the more adventurous you are the better your ideas will be. Couple this with more probing questions and you're on route to developing wicked innovations.



Nils Vesk

Founder of Ideas with Legs | Innovation speaker | consultant | author

nils vesk