Instruments of Creativity and Innovation

What have you thrown away today?

Think about it for a minute.  Maybe you had some yogurt for breakfast and pitched the container?   Perhaps you made a banana smoothie and tossed the peel in the trash can?  Or maybe you wolfed down a Sausage McGriddle, licked the cheese off the wax paper, and threw the wrapper on the floorboard of your car.

Don’t judge me.                                                                                                                                              

Throughout the day, you’ve received junk mail, receipts, coffee cups and napkins.  All worthless stuff that ends up in the trash.  Thrown away without a second thought.

Now what if I told you that all of that stuff could have a new life?  Wait.  Scratch that.  I’m not talking about a new life, recycled and reused.  I’m talking about transformed into something transformational.

Favio Chavez lives in Paraguay.  He grew up playing music, but his practical side led him to get a degree in environmental technology.  Eight years ago, he took a job working on a recycling program at the country’s largest landfill in Cateura.  Noticing the needs of the kids who lived at the landfill, Favio wanted to start a music school.  But where would they get the instruments?

Enter Nicolas Gomez.

Nicolas, or “Cola” as his friends call him, began working at age seven when his father passed away.  After spending 30 years in construction, building wonderful things with his hands and stressing his aching body, Cola took a job as a trash collector and recycler.

Together, Favio and Nicolas have combined their strengths to create Landfill Harmonic, one of the most transformational things you may ever see.  Do yourself a favor and check it out here

Now, you may be wondering, “What does this have to do with me and my business?”

Odds are good that you are looking to transform your organization in some way.  Unfortunately, strewn among the piles of recycled memos and used toner cartridges are wonderful ideas that have been thrown away.  So, how do you get them back?  Take a lesson from the Landfill Harmonic.

  1. Promote Diversity:   All too often, engineers are tasked with solving engineering problems.  Sales people solve sales problems.  Consider Favio and Cola, and recognize that true breakthroughs come when we build diverse teams with diverse viewpoints.
  2. Defer Judgment:  No idea is good.  No idea is bad.  An idea is what you make it.  When brainstorming, avoid discussing the merits of any idea, whether you like it or not.  Research shows this leads to more ideas of better quality. 
  3. Develop Your Ideas:  Before throwing out ideas, identify what you like about them, and what you wish were different.  Then ask, “How could we keep what we like about this idea, but change it slightly to overcome its drawbacks?”  You’ll be amazed at the new ideas that emerge.

In 35 years of working with clients, we’ve helped them overcome obstacles to creating transformational ideas using proven techniques.  Give me a call at 800-386-5611 to see what we can do to help your organization improve its capacity for creativity and innovation. 








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