Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Playing Innovation Oddball: Break Through Conventional Mindset

Creativity is a function of imagination, knowledge, psychology, activities, and evaluation. 

People do have their own set of beliefs and practices, which is called as Conventional Mind. And they have the right to live with the same mindset. With age, they tend to become risk-averse, so they have a tendency to stick to conventional wisdom. But when you need creative ideas, you often need to play innovation oddball by practicing anti-conventional thinking. Unconventional wisdom often means fresh insight or “out-of-the-box” thinking by breaking through the conventional mindset.

Conventional wisdom has a negative connotation about sticking to the outdated concepts, traditions, cultures, or the old ways to do things: Often at the static society with the scarce knowledge and traditional cultures, such as primitively agricultural society or even the industrial age, most people usually consider conventional to be wise, and unconventional to be unwise. So, from one generation to the other generation, people keep preaching with the age-old knowledge, though some of which are perhaps already outdated sooner than you know. Nowadays, with the much faster pace of changes and exponential growth of information, today’s digital society with knowledge economy and much-advanced technology needs to embrace the open culture and keep information and mind flow. Conventional wisdom usually has a negative connotation about sticking to the outdated concepts, traditions, cultures, or the old ways to do things, it’s anti-creativity. With being called conventional wisdom, organizations or the society keep nurturing mediocrity and unrealistically keep expecting innovation out of that mediocrity. The same mediocrity is inherited down the line by generations. That actually only impede innovation and collective human progress. Some crisis situations, often with more frequent digital disruptions, will require innovative process; where a conventional style would be troublesome. Thus, an innovative mind should practice anti-conventional thinking, see things differently and do things in a different way.

Creativity is about thinking beyond conventional wisdom: Conventional thinking often refers to “in-the-box” thinking, which is opposite to the “out-of-box” creative thinking. Creative thinking is unique and original, many other types of thinking are not; some are the habit, following, repetition of memory, emotional reaction, social conformity, approval seeking, dogmatism, pedanticism, or mendacity. The conventional mind is bound by its beliefs and general practices, it perhaps works in the considerably static industrial age. But with rapid changes and frequent disruptions today, the issue is that with the conventional mind, you expect unconventional results, this is like walking on the treadmill, keep walking around without real progress. Creativity appears to be beyond the conventional thinking - where you have left the confines of other people's thoughts. You have to be determined to get better results somehow and it will help to try unconventional thinking, practices, with a better result. Practicing anti-conventional thinking takes a certain mental, psychological and conditional chemistry to break away from thoughts that others have thought about or conventional wisdom. It takes courage, but it is a necessary step to spark creativity and make the true progress.

The logical mind is not equal to a conventional thinking, it can be creative as well: In fact, conventional thinking is not always logical, and the logical mind is more structured in the solution hunt, whereas the innovative mind is faster to test new untested areas. The mature thinker with a logical or structural style will first approach the problem from all possible conventional methods, identify problem areas, choose solutions and move forward. But when all known avenues have been thought through, that the logical mind will start the out-of-the-box thinking. This is a far more stable method in most situations. Thus, the logical mind can be also creative when necessary to play the innovation oddball skillfully. Innovation often means to mix something new with old. the ideal scenario is a judicious and mature mix of both styles - logic and creativity; or conventional and unconventional way. To apply balance would require a very high level of awareness. This is about cognitive maturity and discernment. Ideally, an organization will, by choice, build a mix of styles in the optimal proportion as dictated by its realities and its industry.

It takes courage and mental toughness to break through conventional wisdom. It takes persistence and determination to practice unconventional thinking. Creativity is a function of imagination, knowledge, psychology, activities, and evaluation. Either conventional or unconventional thinking, the true wisdom leads to putting more thoughts into things and searching for fresh ideas and widens the possibility of coming up with alternative solutions and solve thorny problems effortlessly.


Post a Comment