Creative Insight: Shifting for the Future

Creative-InsightCreative insight could save your career. I’ve been writing about the value of developing intuitive thinking. Intuition along with analyses could lead to insights and breakthrough ideas that would revolutionize your business in the 21st Century.

Let me ask you a question: how is your business going to shift in the next few years? How are you going to respond to new technologies, customer trends and global challenges? There are no easy answers, we know that. But I challenge you with this question because if you’re not prepared, your business could become irrelevant in a flash. No product or service is immune.

According to an IBM study of 1,500 corporate CEOs worldwide, the major problem confronting business executives is coping with the increasing complexity of the world. Rapid changes are rendering business models and strategies obsolete almost as soon as they’re implemented. The CEOs surveyed identified creative insight as the way ahead. Learning how to become more curious, observant and receptive to out-of-the-box thinking has never been more essential to everyone in business.

Yet insight is poorly understood. Wikipedia only has one sentence about it: “Insight is the act or result of apprehending the inner nature of things or of seeing intuitively.” Until recently, there wasn’t much research. Now, however, we can benefit from the following books:

  1. The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight and the Brain, John Kounios and Mark Beeman, Random House, 2015,
  2. Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights, Gary Klein, PublicAffairs, 2013.
  3. Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict the Future, Rohit Bhargava, IdeaPress Publishing, 2015.

The thing is, if you’re not finding the new gadget, a new customer pleasing delivery system, or inventing the breakthrough concept in your industry, somebody else will. Computers are everywhere, and smart, ambitious entrepreneurs with crowd funding and crowd sourcing are probably already ahead of your latest innovation. The people with the best ideas — no matter who or where they are — increasingly have a chance of disrupting your game plan.

The problem is you’re most likely an expert and you’ve been immersed in your field for so long, you’ve got tunnel vision. Even the most intelligent people fall into this trap. We know too much! Even when we go outside our box, we’re never very far away.

“Everything you do has the potential to limit what you do next. Everything you think has the potential to limit what you think next. And you won’t even know that this is happening.” ~ Kounias and Beeman in The Eureka Factor

We can’t help it, but we can become more aware of the assumptions and biases that limit our creative thinking. Our past histories inform our assumptions, beliefs and expectations and limit our ability to think and act flexibly.

In this next series of posts, I’ll share with you some of what I’m learning about how to improve our abilities to generate creative insights. What’s been your experience? I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me here and on LinkedIn.

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