"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.