Recently on Human Capital Innovations Podcast, Jonathan Westover sat down with Director of Executive Education at Stanford University and coauthor of Idea Flow, Jeremy Utley to discuss how to generate ideas and creativity in the workplace.
Jeremy opened the conversation by discussing how so many people “... who want to be in an innovative space where they hear the rhetoric, where they hear the messaging consistently…" aren’t taught or shown by their leaders to create good ideas consistently.
One of the key points to creating good ideas often and regularly is understanding that “... if you just pause, take a few extra minutes to iterate a little bit, and come up with some alternatives…” to the first few ideas you have, “you can come up with whole new strains of thought that can potentially take you in a much better direction."
Another point that Jeremy reiterated many times is that “quantity actually drives quality.” He suggested that “The people with the most ideas have the best ideas…" because they “... don't let perfect be the enemy of good." “If we have fast iteration and we allow ourselves to have higher quantity of good stuff, eventually something remarkable, delightful will come of that." The idea is to create as many ideas to warm up the mind and begin the flow of ideas, which then leads to a variety of ideas including good, developed ones. “Good ideas come from lots of ideas.”
He also notes that “The creative mindset is one to generating options.” Once you generate options, you begin to grow and develop those options or ideas. “The whole idea behind design thinking is to iterate, right? You prototype, you iterate and you get the feedback and then you see what works and what doesn't.” That is how you drive creativity, that is how you drive idea flow, and that is how you innovate.
You can listen to the full episode at innovativehumancapital.com/podcast, or anywhere you listen to your podcasts, just search “HCI Podcast”.