Three ‘C’s Of Innovation

(An Introduction)Glass Innovation Head

Welcome to Innovation…

I wanted to launch this blog with what I believe is the most important thing you should do–become better at Innovative Thinking. Innovative or Creative Thinking has the highest rate of return of anything you can do for yourself and your company.

The Three ‘C’s of Creative Thinking are an easy-to-understand tool set I created to help other people become more Innovative Thinkers. I developed them for myself over the past few years and speak about them internationally in my Creative Thinking Conferences. They will also be part of a book I am working on that will be released next year.

Several years ago Steve Gardner, a good friend and president of Five Star Speakers, encouraged me to share my years of experience of creative thinking and “take the show on the road.” He wanted to book me as a professional speaker on Innovation. I had already been speaking internationally since 1985 on technology, the computer/human interface, and technology for the disabled, but I had never discussed the actual thought process involved in the moment of Innovation that led me to develop the first human interface for the disabled.

When I began to put together the presentation, I hit a brick wall. I never thought about how the creative process actually worked or how Innovation happened. If I was to speak about Innovation I would have to dissect creativity and break Innovation down into its basic components, discuss each, and provide a set of deliverables or take-aways, and a formula my audience could then apply to their day-to-day lives to enable them to be more creative thinkers and better Innovators.

This presented a larger challenge than I imagined. In my head, Innovation just seems to happen –and often. It’s like the proverbial light bulb lighting up. I just become inspired by seeing things differently than others. You can become inspirited just by “shifting your perspective” (more on this concept in a future post).

One of my favorite speakers and authors, Wayne Dwyer , said in his March 8, 2004 PBS presentation “Power of Intention,” that the word “inspire,” originally came from the words “In-Spirit” or the Greek root of “inspiritu.” He further explained that the Greeks believed that when someone is truly “inspired” or “In-Spirited” they are touched and gifted by the gods with that idea, that moment of “eureka.”

This could hardly be the basis for an Innovative thinking formula. Could there actually be a formula for Innovative thinking? Yes, and it took nearly three years to develop. I will share the basic concept in this post and elaborate on each of its components later if you’d like.

The Three ‘C’s of Innovative Thinking are the basic building blocks of creative or Innovative thinking. By understanding and following the three simple steps, you can become a more Innovative thinker. They are: Collect, Compute, and Communicate.

The first of the Three ‘C’s is “Collect.” This ‘C’ is all about collecting data from every source possible, both consciously and subconsciously. It’s about being thoroughly aware of all of the details of your challenge, problem, or idea.

A subset of this first ‘C’ is the 5-‘W’s. Remember them, maybe from fifth grade English class or high school journalism? The 5-‘W’s are from newspaper reporting: Who, What Where, When, Why, & How (I guess it really should be the 5-“W’s and the ‘H,” but that isn’t as easy to remember.) I’ll leave why these are so important for later.

The second ‘C’ is “Compute.” Here we continue to collect information, but allow our subconscious to begin fitting the collected information together into patterns, which eventually become your solutions.

And, the third ‘C’ is “Communicate.” This is where you deliberately provide yourself “quiet time” — time away from the noise and distraction of everyday life. Quiet time allows your subconscious to communicate with your conscious. When you are surrounded by distraction and noise, you can’t hear your subconscious speak to you with the elegant solutions it has found.

In this blog, I’m hoping to take a closer look at these three ‘C’s and what they mean for innovation, which is so necessary to allow us to remain competitive.

Click here to see what became an article written for Prentice Hall Financial Press

To see how The Three C’s actually work, click here!

Lon Safko
Innovative Thinking

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