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02.04.2020 Fabian Roschig
12 Thought-provoking talks to fuel creativity and innovation
People often say you have to think outside of the box. I personally think you have to step outside of the box (your company/your comfort zone etc.) to see the full picture and see what is going on around you. Especially today in these uncertain times. It helps to trigger new ideas and spark creativity. To apply creativity in business we sometimes have to unlearn what we know and be open to new approaches, concepts, ways of thinking.
To be clear creativity ≠ innovation however, it’s still important to come up with new concepts that meet customer needs and expectations and fuel that idea pipeline. Creativity definitely improves the process of solving problems. It is a competitive edge.
To get the link to innovation: In my point of view, innovation means converting creative ideas into products and services that meet customer needs which then can be converted into tangible business outcomes.
With this post, I would like to give you an overview of my top picks when it comes to TED talks on innovation and creativity.
Vittorio Loreto: Need a new idea: Start at the edge of what is known
“Where do great ideas come from?” Starting with this question in mind, Vittorio Loreto takes us on a journey to explore a possible mathematical scheme that explains the birth of the new. Learn more about the “adjacent possible” — the crossroads of what’s actual and what’s possible — and how studying the math that drives it could explain how we create new ideas.
Sixty-six percent of respondents in The Deloitte Innovation Survey 2015 stated innovation is important for growth. The value of the digital economy continues to grow in size and importance in every company in every industry.
Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity
What’s the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance? Harvard professor Linda Hill, co-author of “Collective Genius,” has studied some of the world’s most creative companies to come up with a set of tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing — from everyone in the company, not just the designated “creatives.”
“Remember before the internet?” asks Joi Ito. “Remember when people used to try to predict the future?” In this engaging talk, the head of the MIT Media Lab skips the future predictions and instead shares a new approach to creating in the moment: building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission or for proof that you have the right idea. This kind of bottom-up innovation is seen in the most fascinating, futuristic projects emerging today, and it starts, he says, with being open and alert to what’s going on around you right now. Don’t be a futurist, he suggests: be a now-ist.
Navi Radjou: Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits
Navi Radjou has spent years studying “jugaad,” also known as frugal innovation. Pioneered by entrepreneurs in emerging markets who figured out how to get spectacular value from limited resources, the practice has now caught on globally. Peppering his talk with a wealth of examples of human ingenuity at work, Radjou also shares three principles for how we can all do more with less.
Eddie Obeng: Smart failure for a fast-changing world
The world is changing much more rapidly than most people realize, says business educator Eddie Obeng — and creative output cannot keep up. In this spirited talk, he highlights three important changes we should understand for better productivity, and calls for a stronger culture of “smart failure.”Companies who can attract, engage, and maintain diversity can leverage their workforce for a broader exchange of ideas and knowledge and therefore assure long-term success.
Joachim Horn wants engineering to feel more like cooking — so he developed simple “ingredients” that can be easily mixed to make smart technology. With units that connect objects to each other and the Internet, he wants to reinfuse technological engineering with joy and ease, so anyone can be an inventor.
Tom Wujec: Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast
Making toast doesn’t sound very complicated — until someone asks you to draw the process, step by step. Tom Wujec loves asking people and teams to draw how they make toast, because the process reveals unexpected truths about how we can solve our biggest, most complicated problems at work. Learn how to run this exercise yourself, and hear Wujec’s surprising insights from watching thousands of people draw toast.
People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the “liquid networks” of London’s coffee houses to Charles Darwin’s long, slow hunch to today’s high-velocity web.
Adam Grant: The surprising habits of original thinkers
How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies “originals”: thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. In this talk, learn three unexpected habits of originals — including embracing failure. “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most,” Grant says. “You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.”
Tanya Menon: The secret to great opportunities: The person you haven´t met yet
We often find ourselves stuck in narrow social circles with similar people. What habits confine us, and how can we break them? Organizational psychologist Tanya Menon considers how we can be more intentional about expanding our social universes — and how it can lead to new ideas and opportunities.
Manoush Zomorodi: How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas
Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It’s because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Learn to love being bored as Manoush Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.
In this joyful, heartfelt talk featuring demos of her wonderfully wacky creations, Simone Giertz shares her craft: making useless robots. Her inventions — designed to chop vegetables, cut hair, apply lipstick and more — rarely (if ever) succeed, and that’s the point. “The true beauty of making useless things [is] this acknowledgment that you don’t always know what the best answer is,” Giertz says. “It turns off that voice in your head that tells you that you know exactly how the world works. Maybe a toothbrush helmet isn’t the answer, but at least you’re asking the question.”
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