Original thought, for me, is absolutely VITAL. Yes, I take inspiration from conversations or the initiatives I see around me but during the vetting or due diligence process (which is often me just mulling something over for a few days), if the idea seems too closely linked to something else I recognise or even know someone else to be developing I steer away and think about new angles and new opportunities to develop.
But why does it matter?
Example… I have a list of clients. If I am incapable of original thought how can I look at their business or brand and help them to have original unique ideas which harness and propel their USP? I’d surely just turn up and regardless of their business churn out the same suggestions and advice to them. How valuable is that? It’s not. It’s just creating lots of versions of the same thing, who can in-turn saturate the market in a similar way and make the business world even more stagnant. Boring. We need original ways of doing things to shake things up, keep things fresh and move us forward.
- Choose and inspiring environment that enables you to think openly and creatively. Go to different places too.
- Think about an area you’d like to develop and then write all the problems down. The best ideas come from solutions to problems.
- Stay off social… well at least for the idea generation part. We think social is inspiring but often it is actually quite draining and we can get lost in black holes of other peoples ideas.
- Have a tonne of ideas. Get them all out and on paper. A good idea here too is having a notepad by the bed, inspiration can strike at any time.
- Consider the angles. How could you do something different and put a spin on something old?
- Trust few people but do tell people. You’d be amazed the amount of people I tell and get opinion from. And not just in the business world. My ideas are richer from the inputs of others. I am not afraid to learn.
- Think about how your ideas and how they align to “brand you.” It is absolutely key that you really feel passionately about it, not that you think it will make you a buck.
- Do your due diligence. Before you get carried away make sure this is actually original and you don’t look totally oblivious to our network.
- Forecast. You might have a shift change moment and launch a new initiative that takes you in a totally new direction, have you thought about the implications of this? Will it confuse your current offer or audience? Will you end up with loads of different types of clients?
- Do it. So get off your ass as Brad Burton would say and actually do the idea, and do it REALLY WELL.
Original thought might be tough, it might seem hard to think of original ideas and they might be harder to implement because someone before you hasn’t shown you the way. But it shows everyone around you and who might be looking at you as a possible business client or collaborator that you are intelligent, creative and unique.
Get creative people!