how to stimulate innovation

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Think outside of the box

We’ve all heard it before: Think outside of the box. But sometimes it’s good to see a visual cue in our environment that reminds us to do this more frequently. That’s why I created this piece (and Maxims 4 Mavericks).

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Leaders are idea seeders

Like a farmer plants seeds in soil, a leader plants ideas in other people. These ideas grow self-esteem, expand perspectives, and inspire people share their own ideas with the world.

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As it turns out, pigs can fly… (funny pic)

You see, it’s not a question of whether a pig has wings but rather if a pig can be placed in something that has wings. A minor difference with big implications — but an excellent example re-framing rhetoric that re-frames what is possible.

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This is why ‘normal’ is average

By definition a ‘norm’ is common. Thus, being ‘normal’ means being common (Tweet this quote). It means thinking and doing in the same way as the majority. Yet, being ‘normal’ is still encouraged by society.

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Questions are shepherds of the mind

Change the question you ask yourself and it immediately changes your subsequent thoughts — as well as your feelings. It’s no surprise then, that the greatest innovators, leaders, teachers, and students are excellent mental shepherds… they have made a habit of asking excellent questions.

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Assume the opposite

Too easily and too often we assume our perspectives are the best, most logical, and perhaps only way to interpret the world. But this train of thought is not only fallacious, but perilous. We shut doors of opportunity and growth that we didn’t even know existed. The challenge we face is identifying our own impartial views.

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Start with the ridiculous and work toward the reasonable

In the realm of negotiation, there is widely understood maxim: “He who proposes the first figure loses.” What is the reasoning behind this phrase? In fear of sounding ridiculous, the first person typically proposes what is (or might be near) a logical figure. What is not often understood is that all following conversations are framed…

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