I'm all for people thinking on their own in their dorm room... or Starbucks... or the zoo. That's a good thing. But as a replacement for a well-run brainstorming session? Why the either/or syndrome? Why not both?
The key to overcoming a creative rut is to keep focused, but in new ways. Churn and fight until you are back on your feet and do not be afraid of trying new things, working with new people and otherwise getting out of your comfort zone.
While there are many reasons why most people don't get their best ideas at work, there are at least as many why organizations don't get their best ideas a work -- the main one being their tendency to rely on what I like to refer to as the "creative elite."
If ideas are the seeds of innovation, idea management is the formalization of the processes involved in gathering, sharing, analyzing and executing the ideas generated within an organization and its collaborative networks.
One of the reasons why most "big ideas" go nowhere is because the idea originators do not have a team of collaborators on board to help develop and execute their ideas. Bottom line, it's easier to conceive than it is to deliver the baby.
Since 1986, I've asked more than 10,000 people where and when they get their best ideas. Less than 2% have said "the workplace." Based on my 25 years of working with a ton of innovation-seeking organizations, here's my take on why.
During the past 25 years, I've asked more than 10,000 people where and when they get their best ideas. I get all kinds of answers, but the one that has fascinated me the most is "the shower" -- maybe because I also get so many of my best ideas there.
I love working in cafes. I never really thought much about it until a few days ago when a baffled friend of mine asked why I was so into it. His assumption? That working in a cafe would be a distraction. A distraction? Dude, quite the opposite.
IBM's famous commercial showed two-dozen employees lying on mats trying to come up with good business ideas. Thanks to keyword research opportunities, today's small business can harness the same kind of power -- but without an IBM-sized payroll.
When innovation comes to mind, the first thing people may think of is creativity, spontaneity, or a momentary stroke of genius. But can innovation occur out of a structured, repeatable process? The answer, in short, is yes.