Turn Creativity into Innovation…The Eureka! Effect

Innovation begins with a phenomenon known as the Eureka! effect. When a connection forms between brain cells that have never “talked” before you get a new idea – a Eureka! When this creative moment is nurtured in an environment where free thinking is fostered and disparate connections are encouraged, the result can be game-changing…the result is the Eureka! effect. Think iPod, bio-fuel, and making donations via SMS – these phenomena are complete game-changers. And, the creative ideas behind each of them didn’t simply stay in someone’s head, they were energized in environments of intellectual curiosity. Ever have a “great idea”, only to have it fade away in the mist of your mind? What would be the power in capturing your great idea and creating a Eureka! moment? 

2 Techniques to Energize Eureka! Moments:

1. 20%. – the amount of time your brain needs to spend in theta mode. What’s theta mode? The opposite of go-go-go mode. Most of us live 80 mph lifestyles, but it’s when we slow down and reflect on what’s going on that we get our best, most innovative ideas. Google allows their employees to spend 20% of their time NOT working on assigned objectives and tasks. So what are these employees doing essentially 1 day out of the work week? Exploring their environment, virtual and real, and “playing” with new ideas together and on their own.  Google’s 20% time culminated in a new $240M division. That’s innovation & productivity!

2. Mix up your brain cells. Literally…sort of.  When you have a challenge or opportunity, first engage your brain by asking it a question. The brain is naturally curious and drives to answer your question.  When you have that BIG question in your head, let it go. Literally…really. Drop the pursuit of an answer and go cycling or surfing (something physical), then read a chapter of a biz book, next spend at least 20 minutes drawing, painting, sketching (with “real” media or with software) and then go back and ask the question again. By forcing your brain to “play” with distinctly different activities, you require different cells to connect creatively. Disparate connections will form and Eureka! moments result. Want to move that Eureka! from moment to effect?

3 Questions to Grow Your Eureka! to Innovation:

  1. What skills, information and knowledge do I need to make this idea happen?
  2. Where will I find the resources, help, assistance or collaboration I need to sustain my momentum?
  3. What are the first five things I need to do to put this idea in motion?

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