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How to Keep Ideas Flowing

December 22, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 165

Looking at the raw material behind innovation, you'll find creativity. Good interpersonal skills are vital if you want to facilitate the cooking up of the bright ideas that create new products and/or processes.

Unfortunately, many people inadvertently limit the creative process with a knee-jerk reaction using just two words to any suggestion - "Yes, but... ". It's almost an automatic rejection of anything new coming in to our world around which we need to change a paradigm.

However, in order to develop - whether it be a product, service, process or simply your training needs or a day out for your staff - there will be a need to build on the ideas of others. But I'm not that altruistic: you don't have to accept every idea that comes into your world. Some of those ideas will be dull or impractical but from 'stupid' ideas gems grow. For example, someone is making a fortune off square watermelons and another entrepreneur is making a killing off an 'infidelity detector'. And who would have guessed that Facebook would ever make money? Keeping the world of possibility open is the key to success, no matter what the local economy is doing.

The trick is to be able to contradict without seeming to, and to have the skill to encourage new ideas when you sniff them in the bud.

So here's a technique to help ideas blossom that I introduced at my Influence and Persuasion workshop.

Instead of "Yes, but..", use phrases that keep the creativity flying. Rather than sticking a verbal pin into the motivation to come up with ideas, you can change the direction of them and ultimately arrive at an outcome, even totally contradicting the original suggestion, making it feel more like development than destruction!

Here are some phrases that will keep your ideas a-rolling:

1. How about...2. What if we were to...3. May I suggest...4. What are our alternatives...5. What about...6. One way out would be to...7. On the other hand...8. Another way of doing that would be...9. From my perspective...10. The way I see it is...11. Would it be helpful to...12. Have you thought about... ? 13. Could there also be another way that enable us to... ? 14. Have we taken... into account?

You'll notice that using these phrases has a much more constructive feel about them and that the morale of the group/individual is definitely higher than with the knock down 'yes, but... ' scenario.

Next time someone suggests something to you and you want to flip the idea on its head, use these phrases to develop the discussion into an agreement where both parties hear not sacrifice but development.

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In the New Year, I'll be giving you free 90 second videos on Managing Up, Down and Sideways; Influence and Persuasion, Knock-Out Presentations & Pitching and Making Innovation Happen. With 'Making Innovation Happen', I'll be giving you some of the answers behind these questions:

1. What's behind innovation and how is it related to creativity? 2. What does it mean for you and your company? 3. How can you become more innovative?

Tata Consultancy Services, belonging to the massive Tata Group, use a Digg-like social network to collect ideas and Google employees receive 20% of their time to work on projects of their own choosing. That's just a quick sniff at the cook pot. The lid's back on now 'til the videos come out...

Source: EzineArticles
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