It's not ready yet, but I'm excited to see what realizations people had about innovation.
For me personally, 2007 has been a great year. I started this blog in May, and have had a wonderful time meeting new people, learning more about innovation, and challenging myself to keep looking for ideas, new connections to talk about, and fabulously-creative business ideas.
I learned that the more I challenge myself to come up with blog posts, the easier it gets. Being creative is like that: practice makes it a lot easier.
But that wasn't the biggest lesson I learned about creativity and innovation this year.
The most important thing I really learned came from a short comment on an idea website!
IdeaList is a fun site where people upload their ideas, and others can evaluate them. There, I ran across an idea of a toy for children. It was fun, and was an interesting combination of two things kids like (ice cream and soccer).
Then I saw that the first commentator had slammed that idea down with two cruel words: "Try again."
It was vicious--especially since the idea wasn't bad! It needed some development, but the concept was interesting.
At that point, I realized just how easy it is to put down someone else's ideas.
If we don't immediately like something, we pick at the flaws and do everything we can to make the other person realize that they're on the wrong track.
Then the idea is vanquished, and its creator knows not to make that mistake again.
Since then I've worked really hard to find the good parts of every idea I come across, especially if I don't like the idea right away.
Doing that has changed my outlook on innovation because the impact of that decision was immediately noticeable!
Ever since I've started looking at every idea as a starting point (with potential), I've come up with better ideas myself, and helped a lot more people feel confident about being creative.
People are usually pretty hesitant to put an idea out there because they're used to being shot down or criticized. They're just thrilled though when they hear a couple good things about their idea--because it tells them that they're doing something right.
Obviously, not all ideas will change the world, and some of them could definitely use "a little work". But telling someone their idea stinks is no way to get them to improve it. Then they're just discouraged.
Praising the parts of an idea with potential though... actually gets people excited about making it better.
This was just an amazing realization for me. It's such a simple way to get people excited about being creative and working to come up with better ideas.
And it works! Who would have believed that!
So, that's the most important innovation lesson I learned in 2007: Always look first for the good parts of an idea, no matter what!
What have you learned about creativity this year?