Innovative Thinking – Collect – Blog 080

We have discussed the “Collection” part of the Three C’s throughout the book.  As discussed previously, look around, gather data, just keep collecting information from as many different places and industries as possible.

You probably won’t recognize what’s important and what’s not until your “creative” brain starts to put the random pieces together.  The random pieces could be something you saw today or something you remembered from childhood.  It is most always, random.

I like to read Discover Magazine.  This science magazine has amazing articles on nearly every discipline.  You can search the web in a random fashion or randomly view YouTube videos.  I may start out watching videos about innovation, then end up watching videos about time travelers.  Who knows where it will take you.  Go with the flow.

Often your subconscious will direct you.  It may know which direction you should go even though you have no idea at all.

Take Notice

Science professor Guy Claxton once observed “Creative people are expert noticers.  They have highly developed abilities for visual foraging; spotting, gathering, and utilizing things that most others overlook.  Having an active rather than idle curiosity about the world around you reveals ideas. Be nosy, be “eyesy.”

Be “eyesy!”

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon


Most of us have experienced the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, more than once in our lives.  This is where we come across a random name, image, number, color, make, or model, that is unfamiliar to us, but then you see the same thing over and over again.

It’s like when you buy a new purse, you then see lots of people carrying them.  Or, you buy a new car then you often see the same car on the road.

Sometimes we call this “vuja de”.  It’s the opposite of deja vu.  We all have experienced deja vu, where you’re experiencing for the first time, but you think you’ve experienced it before.  Vuja de is when you look at something you have seen many times before then all of a sudden it’s as if you are seeing it fo the first time.

There’s no telling how long or how quick the collection process will take.  Sometimes it can take a long time, maybe months, depending upon the magnitude of the problem you are trying to solve.  More often, it’s instantaneous, because your innovative brain makes a random connection with something you already have experienced and remembered.

I can promise you, the more your practice what we are discussing, the quicker this collection stage will happen then the faster answers will come to you.


“Concentration is my motto – first honesty, then industry, then concentration.”

-Andrew Carnegie

More coming!


Lon Safko
Serial Innovator, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Innovative Thinking


Tags: innovative thinking, creative, creative thinking, Innovation, critical thinking definition, innovation definition, critical thinking skills, creative process

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