It’s comfortable to make marginal changes to things that you know well. Profits will likely remain steady over time, you know the business, and the level of risk can be effectively managed. Making an exponential leap requires not only a leap of faith and the willingness to take a chance, but also the ability to execute and follow through.

Moving beyond what you know is the toughest part and many people don’t make it past this step because it feels foreign, it’s not comfortable, and you may not be sure what step to take next. It also takes practice. Seasoned designers and architects can move in and out of this headspace at ease because they operate here regularly.

The recesses of the mind where ideas can be found or connections can be made is a dark place where the lights don’t come on until an idea is found–especially when you don’t know what you are looking for. Penetrating the darkness with a vision, designers may find that the ideas are drawn to them as inspiration can be found just about anywhere.

Breaking through at a corporate level requires the right kind of people that can support the research, development, and execution of any kind of change effort. They need the full support leadership teams, even when things look like they may not work out. When failure is not an option, you have to keep pushing to make your idea and new product succeed.

I have found that the best way to generate ideas is to bring together a multi-disciplinary team of people with various backgrounds. This group may be users, stakeholders, or employees that can each offer a unique vision about what should be.

The job of the creative leader is to shape these thoughts, opinions, and aspirations into a cohesive whole that can be used to generate future value. Breaking molds starts with thinking and doing things differently.

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