• Set your mind on groundbreaking innovations


    Just the other day Falah Hosini, my colleague and (many times over) inventor, shared his view on what he believes are the most common reasons behind successful innovations. In his blog post, Bring innovation back from the future, he stressed the importance of having the right mindset when aiming for groundbreaking innovations. I will expand on this and share with you some advice on HOW to get yourself into a creative mode.

    What’s so special about the boxes anyway?

    Even if you’re not about to invent a flying, time-travelling super car, you have a lot to gain from setting your mind in an "out-of-the-box” mode.

    Staying outside a box is all about NOT being stuck in old or traditional thought patterns. And NOT having to follow predetermined terms and conditions, often set up by someone else. But how do you get past this "I-always-think-and-do-this-way” way of thinking? A friend of mine, Navid Modiri who is the Global Innovation Manager at Reach For Change, once told me that, in addition to staying outside a box, I should also jump between boxes. What he meant was that I would find more ideas in other and completely different boxes that would encourage my "limitless” thinking.

    What´s keeping you on the ground?
    Don’t get stuck in old habits and with regressive people when you aim for the stars. Or, as Doc Brown in the movie Back to the future put it:

    "Roads? Where we´re going, we don´t need roads.”

    I suggest that you warm up your brain and start practicing some lateral thinking exercises. Lateral thinking is related to creative problem solving and critical thinking. This is not only meant for "creative people”. Trust me: You are more creative than you think! You just need a little help to set your mind in the "out-of-the-box” mode. Then you will be able to create wonders for yourself and your business.

    5 "mind liberating” exercises – and some inspiration.

    1) Warm up exercise
    Sit back and be amazed by how many ways you can wear a scarf:

    2) Mirror game
    Get a friend, a mirror about the size of two make up-mirrors, a pen, a paper and a book that will serve as a screen. 
    • Start the exercise by looking at your reflection in the mirror. Touch your ear. Which ear are you touching? Which ear is your reflection touching? 
    • Now, get the pen and paper and draw the shape of a star or a circle. Draw the same shape around it, about half an inch bigger. Give your friend the book and ask him/her to sit in front of you and block your view of the paper. 
    • Place the pen between the inner and the outer line of the star/circle as a starting position. Then draw the lines without touching the inner or outer line of the shape. You can only look in the mirror when drawing your lines. Not as easy as it looks, right? 
    • To enhance your lateral thinking ability even further, try writing something with the help of the mirror. Repeat the exercise until you succeed.

    3) Three circles game
    Can you draw a straight line through three circles? If you get stuck, I will give you MY answer to this at the webinar on November 3. Sign up to the webinar via the link further down in this post.

    4) Numbers challenge
    What number is missing, and why? Need help? The solution will be explained at the webinar on November 3. Sign up to the webinar via the link further down in this post.

    5) Riddles
    1. A baby falls out of a thirty story building, but lives. With luck and the landing pad not being factors, how could the baby have survived the fall?
    2. There are ten birds perched on a fence. A farmer aims his rifle and shoots one. How many birds are left?
    The solution will be explained at the webinar on November 3. Sign up to the webinar via the link further down in this post.

    6) Inspiration
    Get inspired by the 100 most creative people in the world.

    These exercises may sound like fun activities to do at a dinner party, and they certainly are. But don’t be fooled into thinking that they won’t improve your brain capacity because they will!

    One more thing…
    I recommend that you schedule different exercises based on lateral thinking on a regular basis. After all, practice makes perfect. You’ll find a large number of exercises, riddles and more by just searching the web.

    What´s your best advice?
    Don’t hesitate to share your best advice on how to get your creative juices flowing, and feel free to share this post in your network (in a creative way).

    Sign up for a 15-minutes lunch webinar
    Please register for our webinar about "How to become a ground-breaking innovator” on November 3, 2015 12:00 PM CEST at:

    The webinar will give you strategic advice and hands-on tips and tricks on How to be successful when inventing. After registering, you will receive a confirmation by e-mail with information about the webinar.

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