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Creativity Is Just Connecting Things

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while."  ~ Steve Jobs

I have often put that same thought a little differently by saying that creativity is about making new associations - taking existing ideas, objects, resources - and connecting them differently.

Therefore creativity isn't merely about making something new out of absolutely nothing rather it is creating something new out of making a new association of two completely divergent and different things.

What does this mean for leaders?
  • Be cross trainers - read broadly, don't just get stuck in your own niche, become familiar with other disciplines.
  • Don't quickly rush to judge new ideas.  Let ideas percolate and simmer.
  • Capture ideas and thoughts when they are fresh - keep a notebook available to jot down ideas.
  • Think Non-linearly - use Mind Mapping to brainstorm.
  • Keep a Tickler File - store ideas in a file - even if you aren't sure how you might use them or if they are relevant - they might apply in the future.


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