Creativity matters because it generates options and possibilities. People that are creative can see what others can’t, and turn seemingly random thoughts and interactions into something of value.

Creativity can go awry when you haven’t done the deep work to investigate how your new solution fits into it’s context or how it’s relevant to the end user. Superficial treatment of a new idea will come off as just that when put in front of a customer.

The critical thinking that you need to do starts with asking the right questions which will help frame your problem and stimulate fresh thinking about your problem.

If being creative is this easy, then why aren’t more people creative in the their work?

The primary reason that I see for not realizing this untapped potential is because people have not been given the space to create. They either haven’t given it to themselves or their work does not allow them the room to explore new ideas.

Why does this space matter?

Because it gives you room to stretch out. It gives you time to process what you are seeing, and think critically about what may be coming next. Whether this happens subconsciously or you are actively working to generate new ideas, people need the time to work through new solutions in their own way.

When I read an article about cases where innovation has gone bad, I wonder why. Clearly the people involved thought they had a good idea or were solving some problem, but it wasn’t what the customer needed at that moment. And it’s fine because that’s natural selection at work.

However, you can increase your chances of success by doing the deep work investigate the context, uncover the mindsets, determine what the customers really need, and what the market may bear.

I like going to the beach and watching the waves roll in to the shore. I also like trying to figure out why the waves may be breaking in one spot instead of another. When you begin to understand that the waves are the product of wind, currents, and the physical shape of the bottom of the ocean you will get a better sense of where and when waves will appear. This kind of research and analysis is the deep work that is required [that would be especially useful to a surfer looking to catch a specific kind of wave].

What is business other than catching and following trends?

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