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when do we have our best moments of inspiration? a few thoughts for business
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when do we have our best moments of inspiration? a few thoughts for business


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Whether it is for product innovation, marketing ideas or improved life in the workplace, businesses have their own approaches to finding the inspiration and generating the great ideas. Which got me …

Whether it is for product innovation, marketing ideas or improved life in the workplace, businesses have their own approaches to finding the inspiration and generating the great ideas. Which got me thinking. Do businesses have the right approach to idea generation? What might be missing in their approach? Rather than look at the problem through the eyes of the business, I just thought a better place would be to see how we all individually get inspired. Where do we all have our moments of inspiration? Where do our ideas come from? I personally get great a rare moment of inspiration when I listen to music or when I am in the shower. But what seems to be the case with other people? So I decided to go and find out. I asked a number of people on twitter, at conferences that I spoke at, friends, as well as people I know in the business world. I simply asked where and when to they get their moments of inspiration. Why? Because business can learn a lot from how people think and behave. Business can be inspired by learning from how we as individuals are inspired. To become a more elegant business, companies need to question their present approach to idea generation and ask themselves if they are getting the best out of their incredible people.

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  • 1. where do our moments of inspiration come from? and what businesses might learn from people in their approach to idea generation thoughts from citizenbay & friends
  • 2. the business approach?
  • 3. Economic downturn digital revolution changing relationship with customers disruptive business models doing existing things better race for innovation source: @citizenbay
  • 4. Product Development Customer Service Organisational Management Processes Strategies Everything flickr: will668
  • 5. Brainstorms Walking on Fire Team Bonding Really?
  • 6. Job pressure Job satisfaction Organisational hierarchies Not Your Job Disruptive technologies Robots flickr:
  • 7. 34% eat lunch at the desk 31% take lunch now & again, if ever flickr: moriza source: rightmanagement 2013
  • 8. shift flickr: slack pics
  • 9. The accounting firm Ernst & Young did an internal study of its employees and found that for each additional 10 hours of holiday that employees took, their year-end performance ratings from supervisors (on a scale of one to five) improved by 8% Frequent vacationers were also significantly less likely to leave the firm source: @citizenbay
  • 10. sleep When basketball players got 10 hours sleep, performance improved Free-throw and three-point shooting each increased by an average of 9 % Source: Stanford researcher Cheri D. Mah flickr: mrstg
  • 11. powernap When night shift air traffic controllers were given 40 minutes to nap and slept an average of 19 minutes... they performed much better on tests that measured vigilance and reaction time flickr: NATS Press Office
  • 12. To find business innovation & ideas, an organisation must inspire people and must be open to inspiration But to do that, businesses need to understand when & where people are most inspired source: citizenbay
  • 13. So I went in search of the spaces, places & times of the day when we seem to get our best ideas... And asked a number of people two questions: When are you most inspired? Where are you most inspired? Initially I thought it would be great food for thought as I help companies re-think how they go about organising for inspiration..
  • 14. this is what some people said... source: citizenbay
  • 15. movement 1
  • 16. nick running with the dogs in the morning source: n.phillips
  • 17. runningaway @koenieboomboom along Regents Canal when running flickr: alan stanton
  • 18. bicycle anja on the bicycle going to & from work and other activities source: citizenbay
  • 19. jeet the long journeys home after obscure night outs, whilst attempting to beat the sunrise to get home... flickr: brainflakes
  • 20. transported 2
  • 21. @armano motorcycle rides on a Road King flickr: manoel cardoso
  • 22. trains planes automobiles boats source: citizenbay
  • 23. disconnect 3
  • 24. @olivia_solon in yoga, when I am not supposed to be thinking about anything else flickr:Augusto Mia Battaglia
  • 25. bath flickr: anemoneprojectors
  • 26. Air Cadet from 50F (Lambeth) Squadron I head to the park I lie down I put my headphones on I turn the music up I look up That s where I get my inspiration source: citizenbay
  • 27. naps @seetu I ve encouraged my teams to take short naps when facing sticky problems, to the chagrin of my supervisors z z z z z z z z z z z z
  • 28. pillow jake immediately before falling asleep (not very practical for a meeting, and most are forgotten by morning but there you go!) flickr: tsmall
  • 29. flickr: tsmall @aliciakan Before sleeping Keep a Mad Thoughts notebook on nightstand pillow
  • 30. invigorate 4
  • 31. flickr: photoatelier
  • 32. @samknowles after an evening s improvisational comedy class flickr: keith bloomfiled
  • 33. @faris either from twitter or when I m not on twitter
  • 34. @koenieboomboom after 3am in the bar with my mates flickr: jaypeg
  • 35. @thehospitalclub walking also when drunk which is unfortunate as generally can t remember them in the morning
  • 36. @tomdenning1 I take my nephews to my fav place, watch what they do and see the world anew! source: citizenbay
  • 37. alone 5
  • 38. @adrianpure on the sofa returning to complete a design for a friend late at night source: citizenbay
  • 39. aloneincrowd @jobsworth walking for long periods while alone in a crowd... what I try to do is keep the everyday part of my brain busy walking on crowded pavements while letting the rest of me wander flickr: benjgibbs
  • 40. @madlizzie the toilet
  • 41. routine 6
  • 42. @crystaltau when I m brushing my teeth source: citizenbay
  • 43. walktowork @addictivemobile walking around or running - ideally in a park - but walking to work mostly flickr: benjgibbs
  • 44. @aliciakan Deadheading flowers source: citizenbay
  • 45. the senses 7 sounds have
  • 46. @thesavage late night guitar playing is often a good way of allowing the mind to meander its way to ideas flickr: @Doug88888
  • 47. @greggfraley music with lyrics lifts my mood, so rock and jazz classics... flickr: NHW12
  • 48. @olivia_solon listening to podcasts on my way to work flickr: NHW12
  • 49. @citizenbay I studied for my exams at school listening to this album It is still one of the reliable triggers to open up my mind to fresh thoughts
  • 50. @citizenbay The first time I heard this album, music became something more There is so much music that inspires me, but from the first note of Acknowledgement, I get inspired each and every time by the genius of John Coltrane
  • 51. @citizenbay Birdsong There are times when I sit at my kitchen table in south london, window open. Peacefulness is only broken by the sound of blackbirds and other feathered friends source:
  • 52. @solobasssteve with my toys (instruments) at hand and no extraneous noise even fan noise on amps can mess with my creative space air con is a definite idea-killer flickr:Thomas Hawk
  • 53. the unexpected 8
  • 54. Guillermo Perez @2020publicidad The best ideas come as I listen to people telling me theirs... which is sort of perfectly inconvenient. I guess that s the musician in me source: citizenbay
  • 55. @solobasssteve people wanting to hear what I m up to makes me want to create I feel vindicated in making my own creative choices there is - perhaps paradoxically - more freedom in people wanting what you do than in being ignored
  • 56. backinaminute emmett On a six week training course, some of my peers and I realised that ideas kept popping into our heads after coming back from the restroom. Even the toughest of dilemmas melted away as our bladders emptied flickr: loop_oh
  • 57. surprise @garethkay (& @faris) anywhere and everywhere Normally when I m not looking for it (especially when not looking for it :) - @faris)
  • 58. for a rainy day 9 capture them for the future
  • 59. anja sometimes I end up forgetting some of it again, because I can t just immediately write them down. I guess one can see it as an idea being parked/saved for later when it is more relevant, and will pop up again... flickr: nick fedele
  • 60. Dear Business, If people are inspired whilst alone or with others if people get great ideas in moments of peace or stimulation, if people find moments of inspiration when their brains disconnect from the immediate pressures of their work... do you think you might need to change your approach to inspiration in your business? paul
  • 61. @citizenbay
  • 62. thanks to all the wonderful people who kindly contributed including: the 50f (Lambeth) Squadron of Air Cadets attendees of my speech on Creative Thinking at the International Media Group conference students of UEL and Westminster who listened to my guest lecture mumblings and also @jobsworth, @faris, @garethkay, @jmacdonald @olivia_solon, @aliciakan, @gregfraley, @armano, @seetu, @samknowles, @addictivemobile, @adrianpure and Nick P.