To generate lots of creative ideas you must develop the practice of capturing your creativity. Change, transformation, innovation begin with capturing the idea and then putting it to work.

  1. Listen to your ideas. Develop a practice of paying attention to new thoughts, ideas, questions. New ideas turn up anywhere, any time. Creative ideas turn up when I run, when I swim, in the shower, just before sleep, on the plane, during phone conversation; when I teach and coach. Ideas turn up all the time. I listen when they show up.
  2. Record your ideas in real time. Have with you your preferred 24/7 ubiquitous ideas capturing tool. A small notebook; a mini tape, Iphone. Find out what works best for you. I have pads everywhere, in every room, wherever I go. I never go without these. I then upload all ideas daily to a special folder on my computer. Right now the folder contains 237 ideas, concepts, starters that I want to develop for new blog posts; KEY newsletters; modules; services; talks, seminars and more.
  3. Capture the essence of the idea. You’ve got to capture the creative spark in real time. Your practice is to pay attention to the spark. To breathe oxygen into it. To keep it alive. To grow it. You do this by capturing the tag line; the kernel of the concept/ opportunity / insight. Seize whatever is available of it in real time, as it appears. Do not delay. Mozart heard symphonies, you hear ideas.

    Note about the metaphysics of ideas: Ideas are opportunistic. They turn up where they have the best chance to be picked up, nurtured and be developed. If you do not pay attention to ideas when they show up – if you don’t capture, nurture and develop them – they will stop showing up. Ideas will stop knocking on your door when they find that you are not home. Knocking on your next door neighbor’s door may be a better opportunity. When ideas come knocking, you’ve got to be in. You’ve got to respond as if your life depends on it!

  4. Develop your ideas daily. Foster and nurture ideas every day. Developing the kernels you capture is an iterative process. You nurture, refine and develop your story / idea / concept / book / service / business / daily or as often as you can. Begin by unwrapping the gift you received in the kernel you captured. Open it up, play with it, and develop its possibilities. Do it on your own. Do it in conversation. Do it in open collaboration; whatever fits your creative need and process.
  5. Implement and create value. Innovation and transformation begin with creative ideas. They continue with implementing a development process that creates value. Complete the creative cycle. Follow the path of the idea. Nurture the kernel to flower. Grow the acorn to an oak. Unfold it into a form that contains value. Present it, post it, share it, spread it, transmit it wherever you can, in the best ways available for you. Apply it to create meaningful value for others.

The secret of becoming a conduit for creativity and innovation is repeating these steps. Listen to your ideas. Record them in real time. Capture the essence. Develop and nurture them daily. Implement and create value.

© Aviv Shahar