New Manager

Change your perspective to generate ideas

D. Murali | Updated on May 01, 2011

Look at More, Andy Stefanovich

To produce a creative, inspired mindset, begin by changing your perspective, urges Andy Stefanovich in Look at More: A proven approach to innovation, growth, and change (www.josseybass.com). Changing your perspective, as he explains, is all about your openness to new situations, or ideas. “It relates to your comfort and ability to incorporate alternative points of view when generating new ideas. It also indicates your general interest and curiosity about things.”

Women's preferences

For instance, you can ask a completely new audience for ideas, as Volvo did by forming an all-female design team to explore women's preferences when it comes to buying a car. The foremost feature the design spoke of was a transmission that needed service only about every 30,000 miles, because women did not care for working under the hood. “The car sends a radio signal to the nearest dealership when it's time to bring it in, so the dealer can call the car's owner and tell her that it's due for service.” Other features included ‘theatre-style back seats' with seats generally in the ‘up' position so as to leave lots of floor space for shopping bags and boxes; a cap-less gas tank because women found dealing with the gas cap a nuisance; and lots of storage space.Though such a car was not actually produced, the exercise completely changed the way Volvo talked and appealed to women.

At times, the source of your inspiration may be abstract, says Stefanovich. As an example of abstract connection, the book mentions a winner in the 2006 Red Dot international design award, which stood along with Apple's iPod Nano: Bionic wrench of LoggerHead Tools – an innovative blend of pliers and the adjustable wrench which eliminates the need to carry many different tools because it adjusts to fit many sizes. Would you believe the inspiration came from a camera lens? “The engineer who designed the tool is also an amateur photographer, and the spark came to him while watching the way that shutters and lenses close in toward the centre.” Recommended read to stimulate your creativity.

Published on May 01, 2011

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