Take the First Step

Lidor Wyssocky

Whether it is personal or organizational, any journey should be accompanied by a vision — the destination you are heading to and what you aim to achieve — and a good enough view of the path. But in many cases, we use the lack of detailed vision and an apparent path as an excuse to avoid taking the first step. There are many cases where taking the first couple of steps is exactly what we need to have a clearer vision of our destination. Starting something — bringing an idea into the real world, even if just as a seed that begins to grow — often provides valuable insights and sharpens our understanding of what we really aim for. Take the first step, even when you don’t know everything. Take the first step, even when you are still in the dark. Be sure to continually ask yourself if you are walking too far without a clear destination, but don’t avoid the adventure of taking a couple of steps in uncharted territory.

Decompose

Lidor Wyssocky

I often say that anything can be an inspiration. Any random thing we see, sense, and experience can be used as an ingredient in a future creation. Sometimes, however, we can find even more raw materials to play with by decomposing something and focusing on specific elements. A movie, for example, can inspire us as a complete artwork. But if we decompose it to its ingredients, we might find inspiration in a single sentence, the title design, maybe one character, and perhaps even a gesture someone does as part of a scene. Zooming in on a specific element and them zooming out again to see the entire picture is an essential part of creative observation and a source for a whole new universe of potential fusions.

Unique Value

Lidor Wyssocky

Creativity starts with our ability to see things differently. Any new perspective we apply when observing something adds new potential insights and possible connections to other ingredients. It is these insights and relationships from which creative ideas are born. One important way to see something, and especially someone, is through the lens of their unique value. When you observe or interact with someone, try to discover their extraordinary power. Consider how you can join forces with them to achieve your goals or help them achieve theirs. Each and every one of us has special powers. Joining forces is the key to a whole new magnitude of Creativity.

Delayed Answers

Lidor Wyssocky

Whether we are exploring an artwork or stumbling upon a professional challenge at work, we are designed to be curious and ask questions. Often, we are tempted to look for the answers — the official answers — to these questions externally. And today, more than ever before, when information is so accessible, looking for answers has become practically the automatic thing to do. Knowledge is power, and the “real” answers to our questions are obviously relevant. But if we just delay getting these answers a bit, we create an excellent opportunity for our imagination to step in. When you wonder about something, don’t settle with asking questions. Try to come up with answers by yourself. Don’t necessarily use previous knowledge or your logic for that. Instead, use your imagination — try to imagine the answers even if what you imagine has no basis in reality. Use your questions as an opportunity to actively practice your imagination. As a side-effect, you just might come up with surprising answers that are more enlightening than the official ones.

Plan to Flow

Lidor Wyssocky

Flow is essential to creativity. When you are in Flow, you are entirely in what you are doing. Apart from being a productivity booster, the Flow state allows your mind to be fully invested in the task, which is an excellent setup for coming up with surprising connections and creative ideas. The most obvious thing you should do to be in a state of Flow is to eliminate distractions as much as possible. “Distractions” in this context includes random distractions like emails, phone calls, and any other type of notification, but also “planned” context-switching. We know most working environments are built around context-switching, so this recommendation is not trivial to follow. But context-switching is both productivity and creativity killer. Try to create islands of distraction-free work on a single task to realize the difference it can do!

Be Playful

Lidor Wyssocky

Being playful when working with seempli is pretty natural, especially when you are playing beyond the context of any specific project, but just practicing your creativity. But can you imagine being playful when trying to solve a real problem you are facing — a problem that may have professional or personal consequences? Well, it is indeed far less trivial to be playful in such circumstances. But, when you are in need of a creative solution, playfulness is one essential ingredient. If you manage to ignore the consequences of your problem for some time and treat it as a game or a creative challenge, the chances of coming up with an innovative solution highly increase. Using seempli to help you generate ideas is a perfect way to do so. One way to forget the context of the problem for some time is to phrase it more abstractly. In the back of your mind, you will still remember the context and the actual challenge you are facing. But the more you will concentrate on the abstract or higher-level phrasing, the better chance you have to gamify the process.

Surprise!

Lidor Wyssocky

When you are going to gym you know you are working out when you sweat or when you feel your muscles. When you are exercising (or applying) your creativity, your indication of being effective is being surprised! Surprising yourself and planning to be surprised sound like oxymorons. How can you plan something which is unplanned by nature? How can you expect something and still be surprised? Well, that’s the beauty of it: you have to be in the right mindset, look for surprises, create the right settings for surprises to happen. It doesn’t mean you know in advance what the outcome will be, but you are doing whatever you can to set the ground for a surprising result. What does that mean in practice? A good place to start is by looking around you with an open mind. Wheather you are merely practicing your creativity or you are facing a real challenge, look around you for Insights. You are bound to be surprised!    

Quantity First

Lidor Wyssocky

We often consider quality to be better than quantity. And in many cases it is. But when it comes to developing and applying creative skills, quantity always come first. When you practice in the seempli Creativity Gym, the more Insight you capture for each challenge – the better. Don’t be judgemental and don’t hold back. Just capture anything that comes to mind. In time, this is what makes your mind more flexible, and that’s the essence of creativity. Overthinking before you capture an idea and trying to see if “it is good enough” routes your brain to a different path. We’ll get to that in a moment. The same approach applies when you apply creative thinking and ideation to real-world challenges. Overthinking and analyzing does not promote idea generation. Important as the analysis is, it comes at the next step. Ideation should always start with gathering many ideas from various domains and contexts. That’s the essence of divergent thinking. Divergent thinking does not stand by itself though. Choosing the best idea among the pool of ideas you gathered is of course essential. That is where convergent thinking comes into the game. But without having a big and diverse pool of ideas, we might … Read More

From Dead Time to Fun Time

Lidor Wyssocky

Developing a skill (any skill) requires practice. And practice takes time. Mastering the core skills of creativity – observation and imagination – is no different. Ongoing practice, on a daily basis, is essential to make our mind more flexible and rewire it to see things differently. That is why we call seempli a Creativity Gym. But unlike going to a real gym to improve your fitness, you can play with seempli and develop your creativity in your “dead time” no matter where you are. Use whatever idle time you have to look around you use some Seeds and Prisms and turn this time into a creative fun time. Just think about your “dead time” from the past day. What did you do when you walked from the parking to the office or when stood in line in the grocery store? What did you do while you waited for the train or while you prepared breakfast? All this time can be used to practice your creativity. As a side effect, you will find yourself smiling much more 🙂    

Don’t Hold Back

Lidor Wyssocky

How many times you had a spark – the beginning of an idea – and said to yourself, “this will never work”? How many times you looked at something, saw for a second a potential but then said: “This is not good enough”? This approach kills Creativity! Any creative act starts with exploration: with looking around and collecting raw material. Ideas can come from just about anywhere, and the best creative results are, in fact, built using a surprising combination of unrelated things from entirely different domains. But for that to happen, you should avoid being judgmental when exploring and discovering. Divergent thinking is an essential step in the creative process. You should not censor yourself. Whether you are practicing in the seempli Creativity Gym or looking for ideas for a real-world challenge, you should collect many Insights even if, eventually, most of them will not contribute to the solution. It is this variety of ideas that enables the creation of surprising connections in our mind. It makes our brains more flexible. The next step in solving a problem would have to be analyzing the ideas, refining them, and picking the best one. Don’t try to make a shortcut and filter … Read More