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[MUSIC]
How do you come up with great ideas, and then make them happen? This is what I spend my days doing.
I run the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, which is in the Management, Science and Engineering department at the Stanford School of Engineering, and my goal is to help students figure out how to come up with the big ideas, and then bring them to life.
Now, I've been doing this for about 14 years, and I wanna tell you a secret.
I decided I wanted to write a book on creativity a few years ago, and, I started a file on my computer, and the file said, not another book about creativity. It's like, not one more book, how, this is not gonna be just one more book.
And I sold the idea basically with the name, which is ingenious, and so the title was good enough that my publisher said that yes, let's do it.
But I got to the end of the first draft, and I realized, you know what? It was just one more book about creativity.
So I started over, and I started over, and I started over, until finally I realized I was looking at the material through much too tight a focus,
and I needed to open up the lens and look at the creative process and the process of bringing ideas to life through a dif, very, very different perspective.
And I created a model, which I call the Innovation Engine.
And what' I'm gonna do is, over the next few minutes, take it apart and put it back together, and I hope you agree with me that this is a really interesting way at looking at how do you come up with ideas, and how do you actually bring them to life.
Now, when you look at the innovation engine, you'll notice there are some things that are sort of the obvious place that you would start if you're talking about creativity.
You would typically start with thinking about imagination, right?
So let's start there. Okay. Now we're all imaginative when we're kids, okay.
We all go to school. We come up with really interesting things when we're in kindergarten, and over time we start seeing that creativity, and our sense of confidence in our creativity dwindling.
Why is that? It's because a lot of the questions we get asked in school are like this.
What is the sum of 5 plus 5? Now what's the answer to this question?
-Ten. -Great, okay. Come on, say it louder. Ten. Okay.
We know it's ten because there's one right answer to this problem, and unfortunately, the more we go in school, the more we get questions like this.
Where and when was, you know, whatever. What's the number, Avogadro's number. Okay. It might get to be more complicated questions, but there's only one right answer.
Really creative people don't look at the world like this. They look at problems through different lenses, and they re-frame problem. For example, instead of teaching math like, what's the sum of 5 plus 5, you could ask a question like this.
What two numbers add up to ten? How many answers are this to this? [INAUDIBLE] How many answers?
-[INAUDIBLE] -A lot. Okay. How many a lot? -Infinite. -Infinite number, right? Negative number, fractions.
This is critically important, because often, the answer is baked into the question you ask, and so if you don't question the questions you're asking, you're not gonna come up with really innovative solutions.
I mean, I could give a very easy example that, to bring it to life.
So this wonderful new book that 99U is coming out with we could right now brainstorm about a great launch party for this book.
And you might think that's a great question to ask. But I could change one word in that question and say, let's come up with a great launch celebration, and all of a sudden, we've opened up the range of possibilities from a party to a celebration.
Does that make sense? Okay. So framing and re-framing problems is one fabulous way to increase your imagination, but there are other ways.
Okay, and this is just an example from Essure of how we are constantly re-framing and, and framing, even in a an image like this. Even in the same picture, you're challenged to look at things from different perspectives.
So another way to increase your imagination is by connecting and combining ideas. Now, most inventions don't come out of nowhere.
They come from putting things together in really interesting and surprising ways. I do this with my students in Stanford, by having them practice the art of Chindogu. Now, Chindogu was the Japanese art of creating un-useless inventions.
Now, what does that mean? It means putting things together in surprising ways. They're not useful, they're not useless, but when you put them together, interesting things happen.
Let me co, show you a couple of examples. [LAUGH] Woops. Okay. We've got little umbrellas on shoes. Pretty cool. You laugh because it's really clever.
It's interesting and unexpected. What about this one? Shoes with dustpans. [LAUGH] A third way to increase your imagination is with challenging assumptions. It means going beyond the first right answer.
And I love to do this by giving assignments that are really surprising, that I've never seen before, and that really challenge the students to come up with very interesting solutions.
For example, here's a, a very an example of a design brief from one of the projects that I gave to a bunch of students all over the world.
Their challenge was to create as much value as possible, value measured in any way they wanted starting with one trash can.
The contents of the trash can. Would you like to do this? Kind of fun? Well the wonderful thing is these students end up spending a bunch of time thinking about what is value to them.
They came up with some really interesting insights. Value was community and friendships. It was health, it was happiness. It was feeding your family.
And of course there was financial value. Let me show you a few examples of some of the things the students came up with.
This is a team from Ecuador. They started with a garbage can filled with yard waste. Yard waste. I probably wouldn't have started with this one.
Here's what they did. Pretty amazing? Made a beautiful mural.
Or, a girl who was in Ireland. Her mother had just cleaned out the sock drawer, of, in her brother's sock drawer. All these old, holy socks. Different colors: black, grey, white, okay?
She took them, she cleaned them, she cut them up, sewed them back together and made this sweater.
Pretty amazing? So creativity can be enhanced by re framing problems, connecting combining ideas, and by challenging assumptions. But you know what? This is not enough.
This is not enough, and it's certainly not enough if you wanna really make things happen. Because you need to start with a base of knowledge.
Knowledge is the toolbox for your imagination. The more you know, the more you have to work with.
Think about it. If I wanna come up with a brand new solar car or a cure for cancer, I need to know something about engineering and biology. I need something to work with.
And so how do we, how do we get knowledge? Well, of course, you can come and listen to talks, you can read books.
But one of the most powerful ways to get knowledge about the world is by paying attention.
We normally don't pay attention to our world in a way where we really find interesting opportunities and often the solutions waiting fra, right in front of us.
A great example that I, I love because it's so mundane and yet so fascinating is that fellow named David Freeburg, who was commuting through San Francisco everyday, and he made an interesting observation just looking out the window of his car.
He noticed that the bike rental station that was near the train, was closed on days when it rained, and he thought, wow, that's really interesting.
How many other businesses are influenced by the weather? And he realized how many types of companies are effected by the weather.
Ended up starting a company called Climate Corporation where they basically sell weather insurance to all different types of companies. This would never have happened, if he hadn't been paying attention.
So we have imagination, we have knowledge, but there's another important part of your innovation engine, and that is your attitude.
If you are not driven, motivated, and have the confidence that you can solve your problem, you will not solve it. It is not easy. It's not easy to come up with really big ideas, and it's certainly not easy to bring them to life.
Unfortunately, most people see themselves as puzzle builders.
This means they're looking, they kind of have their box top, and they know what the picture looks like, and they know where they're trying to get, but here's the problem. What happens if you're a puzzle builder, and you're missing a piece in the puzzle?
What happens? You can't finish the puzzle. You're stuck. You know, you say to your boss, sorry. You know, that part is out of stock.
Okay? You say, sorry we, can't get there. True innovators, true entrepreneurs are not puzzle builders. They're quilt makers.
They take all the things they have at their disposal, all the things, even if they're kind of strange and surprising, and they figure out how to leverage them to make amazing things happen.
This is really important. You need to see yourself as a quilt maker, as opposed to a puzzle builder.
So now we have the inside of your innovation engine. And let me tell you how this works. It's really quite simple.
Your knowledge is a toolbox for your imagination, your imagination is the catalyst for the transformation of that knowledge into new ideas and your attitude is the spark that gets it going.
But here's the problem. I'm gonna ask you to have a show of hands. How many of you are really innovative folks who are stuck in environments that don't allow you to express your creativity, or have ever been?
Okay, quite a number of people. The reason is, no matter how innovative and entrepreneurial we each are, we're often find ourselves in environments or work with clients who are in environments that don't really foster this type of innovation.
So we need to look at the outside of the innovation engine. So let's go there. Let's look at the first piece: habitat.
Now, habitat is quite complex and multidimensional. They're the people you work with, they're the rules, the rewards, the incentives. But one of the things we'd often don't pay attention to is the physical space.
Now think about it. When we're kids, we get, are in classrooms like this, with lots of colors, with lots of manipulatives, with lots of flexibility.
Could you be creative in this type of environment? You bet. Okay? Then you graduate from kindergarten, and you go through school, and all of a sudden, you end up in places like this.
Now you laugh because we've all been in these type of environments, where the chairs are lined up in rows and columns, or bolted to the floor.
If you talk, you get in big trouble. I spent my entire growing up writing, silence is golden, silence is golden.
[LAUGH] Guess what, that's why I'm a teacher now, okay?
So. [LAUGH] The fact is, you go into this environment, and you're very stifled, and then we worry about these kids aren't as creative anymore.
And of course they're again being given these problems like what's the sum of 5 plus 5?
Okay, and then they graduate from there and they go and work in these environments, and again we worried about why are people not so creative.
I'm fortunate enough to teach my classes in the Design School, the D-School at Stanford, and our classroom looks much more like this.
Where everything was flexible and movable, and nothing is too precious. You know, you can write on the furniture. If someone spills something, no big deal. Anything can be moved.
It's like, more like a stage that can be set for whatever you're doing. Because, guess what?
The space is the stage on which you play your life, and when you stand on that stage or walk into that room, you know how you're supposed to behave. Now really innovative companies, and I'm sure many of you are in these situations, know this.
They create spaces that when you walk in, you go, this is a place where creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, new ideas, are welcome.
You know, this is a picture I just found form Google in Zurich. You know, this is obviously, you walk in here, it's very playful. Or at Pixar, where they have a slide right in the, in the entryway.
Again, you walk in, and you know this is really a, a place where fun and ideas are welcome. So habitat's important, but so are the resources that you have at your disposal.
Now what's the first thing that anyone thinks about when they think about resources? Let's say it together.
Money, okay? People think of money. Okay, I've never asked that question and gotten a different answer. Okay?
People think about money, and I'm often in places of the world where people say, you know what, I just don't have enough money I, to do things.
And I say, you know, you have to be kind of, you're, you're really limited in your thinking because most of the resources you have are, are well beyond money.
Think about it. This is a spectacular space, built with a lot of resources. But you know what? If there were no people in the room, nothing would happen.
Okay? This space is an exciting place because of the people who are here not because of the money that built this beautiful place that brought us here.
There are also important things, natural resources that we often don't see, processes we put in place and the community that we can draw upon for our ideas.
So we need to think when we're building that quilt, that patchwork quilt, look at the resources we have far beyond the money we have, but all the other resources.
Now speaking of community, the last piece of the innovation engine, is culture. What is culture? Culture is something that infuses the entire organization.
One of the most important aspects of culture, is how we deal with failure. Now, I have to tell you, I don't like the word failure, because as a scientist, when I do things that have surprising results, what do you call that?
You call it data. Okay. And when you're a scientist, and you get data that isn't expected, that's actually when most interesting things happen, is when you get things that are unexpected.
You can mine that, and come up with some really, really interesting inventions and ideas. Really innovative firms know this.
I'm gonna play you a short video clip that comes from IDEO. And I'm sure many of you know the design from IDEO.
This is, the prototype they put together for a iPhone app for kids called Monster Maker. And this was their way of dealing with doing short, little quick experiments, so that even if it fails, you haven't invested a lot of time or money or technology.
This is the way you wanna fail, by doing rapid prototypes that give you a lot of data quickly to determine if you're going in the right direction.
Cue music. So this is a [UNKNOWN] dance moves for Monster Maker. So, music starts, and I'm a player, so I come in and I touch the monster, and he gives me special dance moves.
[LAUGH] And I go and touch again, and he does a different one.
And it can go for as long as I want. It has a few signature moods.
And when I've had enough and I'm done dancing, I click the back button, and it pauses, and the music stops.
Monster maker! [LAUGH] -Cool! -He's all like, [LAUGH] [NOISE] -Anderson!
So great. So this is an example of how you can do a short, quick experiment. Let me ask you. Was this effective?
Yes. You know, I showed this once to an auditorium, and there were some little girls sitting in the back. At the very end, they crawled up to the front and wanted to download the app.
Okay. That was a great experiment. And if it hadn't worked, you know what? They'd probably spend a few hours on this. They'd go back to the drawing board, and do something else.
So being able to do lots of rapid prototyping and experimentation and celebrating the things that don't come out as you expect it.
But guess what? Culture is much broader then that. Culture is like the background music of any organization.
It is so powerful that you, think about it. When you, when you go to see a movie and there's music, it tells you whether you should be in, whether it's a suspenseful or romantic scene.
It actually tells you how to feel. And I'm gonna play you two video clips to demonstrate how this works. This is a video clip I found from a Coca Cola bottling plant in 1919.
And it's a one-minute clip. I'm gonna play it twice, once with well, one type of music, another, the second time, with a different music.
I want you to think about how it makes you feel, whether you'd wanna work there, and whether you wanna drink what's in those bottles.
[BLANK_AUDIO]
Okay. Kind of like Disneyland. Sort of a fun place. What about this one?
[MUSIC]
I think you got the point, okay? Culture is important. The culture affects the way we feel, the way we think, we, the way we act.
And so we need to think about the culture when we, we create environments. So we, that if we want people to be really innovative and be willing to experiment especially if there's a fear that the results won't come out as expected.
So, now we have the outside of your innovation engine, but let's put the whole thing together and see how this works all in concert.
Okay? Now, you might say, okay, these are all interesting parts, but why are they woven together in this Mobius type strip?
The reason is that none of these things stand alone.
They all affect each other. And without one, the others can't function. For example, imagination and habitat are parallel, because the habitats we create are the external manifestation of our imaginations.
If we can't imagine it, we can't build it. And then the habitats we build, of course, affect the way we think and the way we act and certainly our imagination.
This is true with resources and knowledge. The more we know, the more resources we can unlock. And the type of resources we have in our environment determines what we know.
For example, you know, the more fish I have in my environment, the more likely I know about fishing.
And the more I know about fishing, the more fish I'm gonna catch. Make sense? And finally, culture and attitude.
The culture is the collective attitudes of the individuals, and every individual contributes to that culture. And of course, we're all affected by the ambient culture of the organization.
The wonderful thing, is that you can start anywhere on this innovation engine to get it started.
There's no beginning, and there's oh, no end. You can start as an individual by building your base of knowledge. The more you know, the more you have to work with.
[UNKNOWN] right? The more I know about any topic, the more I have tools for my imagination. I can start if I manage a company by building a habitat that stimulates the imagination of other people I work there.
I can start by leveraging the resources and knowing what they are and leveraging resource in my environment.
The fact is, this innovation engine is so powerful, and we each have the key to our own innovation engine, and I invite each of you to turn it.
Thank you very much.
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Tina Seelig: The 6 Characteristics of Truly Creative People

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VoiceTube 2014 年 4 月 3 日 に公開
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