Open to Possibilities

21 Oct
Open to Possibilities

Innovative Thinking

Innovative thinking revolves around the ability to develop new ideas and ways to approach and solve problems. In the past, countless innovative thinkers have walked the earth as we do now. Although they did not witness technological advancements in the 20th century, they still used their imagination and the tools available in their time. These innovative thinkers possessed curiosity, ingenuity, and creativity, to name a few, which allowed them to envision what humanity could build to satisfy their needs through the passage of time.

da Vinci's Flying Machine
Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th-century sketch of a flying machine.

Innovative Thinker

Leonardo da Vinci is one example of an innovative thinker. His structural designs demonstrated how entwined his creativity and imagination were to help him reproduce his predictions on paper. While he is widely known as a painter, you may be surprised to learn that he was much more. According to Think!Creative, Leonardo da Vinci was an inventor, painter, sculptor, scientist, architect, mathematician, anatomist, writer and engineer. Some of da Vinci’s early structural designs, mentioned on, included something similar to a helicopter, a flying machine with wings, a parachute, and a tank. Da Vincis’ early drawings from the 15th and 16th centuries came long before the technology existed to build these machines. One can only assume where da Vinci got his inspiration. His designs may have been based on what he thought we as a people could accomplish – if we truly had the desire to do so.

da Vinci drawings

Can it be Developed?

There’s no need to feel intimidated by Leonardo da Vinci’s accomplishments. While you may not be as skilled in nearly as many areas as he was, you can still develop innovative thinking and use it to your advantage. Bryan Collins wrote an article for Forbes back in 2018, explaining how to use three key strategies to develop innovative thinking, including seeking out inspiration, combining similar ideas and solving a problem.

Seeking Inspiration

If you want to change something for the better, you must first understand all the complexities that accompany it. As a marketer, to sell a product or service, you need to know it inside out. You must understand your target market, who they are, what they do and what motivates them. With this understanding in hand, you can apply your product knowledge to uncover the nugget of information which intrigues them to act. For example, let’s say you are a sports fan, and your favourite sport is baseball. Being a fan, you may watch baseball on TV regularly causing you to notice video replays slow down the game. You might then be inspired to develop a product or service to address these delays.

Combining Similar Ideas

Since you are trying to change the game of baseball for the better, you might consider combining existing technologies to bring your idea to life and address game delays. As a sports fan you might research existing technology, while the marketer in you could study how competitors have marketed similar products in the past. Let’s not forget what Terence McKenna once said, “Our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas.” While starting a company isn’t easy, good ideas are hard to come by, so if you have one, don’t waste it, do something with it.

Solving a Problem

You took some time to think it through, and if your idea works, it will not only address the delay during games, but could solve it. Since umpires and referees are human, it takes time for them to review replays and make sure they get the call right. This process, while necessary, takes fans out of the experience. Developing a sensor along the field’s white foul lines that emits a sound or changes colour if touched is an example of how innovative thinking could revolutionize the way umpires call games and make the experience smoother for the fans and players. This sensor could also trigger the plate changing colour when the bat crosses the plane, making strikes easier for the umpire to recognize.

Think outside the box

Open to Possibilities

A LinkedIn piece published in 2020 by Janice Francisco discusses what an innovative thinker is and what innovative thinking can do for organizations who support their employee’s creative visions. Simply put, people are the most important resource in any organization. Without people, the company could never achieve its goals or find the answers it needs to solve problems, compete in the market, and move forward. As mentioned in the article, “Without people, there is no organization.” When innovative thinking is supported, people are free to “think outside the box” and develop ideas that aren’t restricted or confined to a specific linear way of thinking.

The next time you feel a little stuck, remember when you are open to any possibility, you are open to all possibilities.