When we think about innovation, all of the “things” we consider to be part of our everyday life began as a whisper that became an idea, leading to a discovery and ultimately the production of a product or service.

Outside the box thinking is the foundation for all new inventions big or small.

As an entrepreneurial coach, I work with individuals who have great ideas that fuel their passion for business.  At times, they may seem far fetched, even outrageous.  A productive brainstorm session will prioritize the ideas into action items, some to be shelved for another place and time, while others are for immediate implementation.

I refer to this stage as “incubators of creativity.” 

I find it interesting to hear about the process of innovation.  The times where lightbulb moments occur and excitement builds over the creation of a new idea.  

How do we encourage outside the box thinking?

What are the circumstances that lead to this type of creativity?

Throughout the discussions I have had with innovators, there seems to be a time when we feel relaxed or at rest that the best ideas take shape.  For some, it is when they are meditating, walking, jogging or just plain taking a nap. We’ve all heard the advice to keep a pen and paper handy on our beside table so that when a great idea pops into mind we are able to jot down a few notes, allowing us to fall back to sleep and then in our waking hours continue the process. 

This type of creative thinking is critical for the advancement of technology and the production of goods and services that allow for society to flourish and grow.  

We need to celebrate and support great ideas.

I remember a grade school art teacher who used to encourage that we colour outside the lines.  I was devastated to hear that my quest for perfect colouring was not going to be rewarded and it wasn’t long before the entire class was creating some pretty amazing works of art.  My parents were a little shocked when I came home with these unusual creations but when I think about it now, what a brilliant way to encourage outside the box thinking at an early age.  

Perhaps we need to give ourselves permission to be outrageous so that we encourage outside the box thinking and spark new ideas.

When was the last time you coloured outside the lines?…Creativity is the mother of invention.

Trish Tonaj is a Master Coach Practitioner, and Certified Coach Trainer offering keynotes and workshops on Mentorship…breaking barriers, starting new conversations and creating a new definition for success.