Specifically, this recap of Monday’s “Idea Magnets – Creative Business Leadership” webcast I presented for the American Marketing Association is from “Inside the Executive Suite.” This newsletter is a weekly feature within the Armada Executive Intelligence Briefing System. We worked with Keith Prather, the publisher of the Armada Executive Intelligence Brief, for many years in the corporate world. Additionally, when we have a client engagement requiring a larger group of facilitators, Keith is my first call. He was at ground zero when we developed the techniques that later became the Brainzooming strategy methodology.
Beyond this Idea Magnets recap, you should sign up for a free 30-day trial of the Executive Intelligence Briefing System. It’s designed to keep executives current with both what’s going on in the world and what it’s going to mean for their businesses. Additionally, since Keith won’t listen to my pricing strategy advice, you can subscribe to the entire array of multi times per week publications for less than $100 a year. It SHOULD be a four or five-figure subscription, so like I said, subscribe now before I convince Keith to raise the prices!
Without delay, here’s the Armada take on the seven creative thinking characteristics of Idea Magnets. – Mike Brown
7 Keys to How "Idea Magnets" Boost Creativity from "Inside the Executive Suite"
Know someone incredibly strong at generating new ideas and attracting team members who also excel at imagining creative ideas?
If so, you know an “idea magnet.”
Here is our recap and the take-aways from each (idea magnet) characteristic discussed.
Idea Magnets are . . .
Idea magnets generate interest and passion for the big objectives and dramatic visions they are trying to accomplish within their organizations. Unlike creative geniuses who may work in a more solitary basis, they want strong creative leaders surrounding them. The bigger team’s creativity helps identify the details behind making the vision a reality.
In sharing a big vision for an organization, whether it’s stated as a core purpose, vision, or mission statement isn’t critical. What's important is the statement boldly challenges and stretches the organization.
Our take-away: Idea magnets ground creative ideas in strategies and objectives. They are NOT pursuing creativity for creativity's sake.
Idea magnets are servant leaders. They participate in the challenging tasks they ask their teams to address. They also grow their team members into idea magnets themselves through strategic mentorship, sharing personal lessons with their teams, challenging the status quo, and cultivating team diversity.
Idea magnets surround themselves with smarter, more talented people and display patience while team members do their own explorations to imagine ways to turn the idea magnet’s vision into reality.
Our take-away: Idea magnets aren’t standoffish. They are in the middle of imagining ideas AND accomplishing results.
Just as magnets attract metal, idea magnets attract great creative leaders and their big ideas. What makes idea magnets so attractive? They bring excitement to the workplace. They also display "abundance thinking. " What others would consider as constraints, they see as opportunities to pursue more abundant resources and possibilities. They also provide what other leaders need to be abundantly creative, including physical space, time, resources, tools, and interactions with new (and new types of ) people.
Our take-away: The intangibles in business often support abundance thinking. Ideas, energy, passion, and learning aren’t limited, so identify ways to take greater advantage of them.
Idea magnets connect people and situations to fuel creativity. They are great "and” thinkers. This means they embrace and easily work with both ends of what others might see as opposite perspectives. Idea magnets are strong at:
- Generating and prioritizing ideas
- Thinking creatively and implementing ideas
- Exploiting tested ideas and unknown possibilities
Using creative formulas, idea magnets combine possibilities others would typically miss to create many more new ideas.
Our take-away: Idea magnets we’ve known in business are all strong at spotting relationships between apparently disconnected things. These connections help fuel ideas and anticipate future opportunities.
Idea magnets use multiple tools in multiple ways to motivate team members. For example, they might use time in contrasting ways. Sometimes idea magnets negotiate for MORE time so team members can finish necessary creative thinking and implementation. Other times, they may be maxing out the team's capacity with more projects than they can handle. This LESSENS times for unnecessary creative thinking and encourages rapid progress.
Idea magnets routinely facilitate unique creative experiences, maximize fresh perspectives from new team members, and celebrate successes and the learnings from new ideas that fall short of intended impacts.
Our take-away: By adding one new or unusual variable, idea magnets facilitate once-in-a-lifetime creative experiences. This concept extends to personal relationships, so all you long-time married folks take note!
Idea magnets imagine and attract many ideas. Processing those ideas so their teams aren’t overwhelmed is imperative. That's why being strong at “deciding” is vital.
When a project or initiative launches, idea magnets identify upfront how decisions will be made as completion draws near. Sometimes the idea magnet makes the decision; other times, team members will be deciding how the team proceeds. Knowing upfront the freedom team members have in exploring ideas and the approach to setting priorities signals how much autonomy others have to shape strategies to move forward.
Our take-away: While they say in brainstorming sessions there are no bad ideas, there are. It’s vital to pick the right time to decide on good and bad ideas to sustain creative thinking.
Applying creative thinking to business issues is mentally stimulating. There’s still the need, however, for idea magnets to replenish creative energy along for the team. Idea magnets understand what encourages their creative passions and what will prepare team members to hit their creative peaks. Idea magnets have to know the people, places, situations, times, and techniques that most readily maximize creativity.
Our take-away: Managing a business team's creativity is like a basketball coach managing the varied talents and personalities on the team. The idea magnet may have to try a variety of "player" combinations before the team scores creatively.
Is creative thinking and creative business leadership for everyone?
A question at the webcast’s conclusion asked whether creative business leadership is important if you don't work in a creative field or company. The answer was it’s even more important then to bring fresh ideas to how an organization delivers customer value. – “Inside the Executive Suite”