Three from the casket: how to manage creative people
We often hear phrases such as: "This task requires new ideas", "We must be more creative!", "We must think differently." Such requirements can drive into a stupor any, even the most creative person. Creative thinking itself starts to falter when we are asked to be creative.
Nevertheless, the modern world makes just such demands on us. There are very few professions left in the world where a creative approach is not needed, so if you do not know how to think outside the box, difficult times await you. Innovation is everywhere - and in order to not only use it, but also to invent it yourself, you need methods for generating new ideas. You will need to use them very often in order to create new ideas become your skill.
There are a large number of creative techniques, so you will no longer be able to claim that you are not smart enough and creatively grounded in order to come up with something extraordinary.
How new ideas are created
To make the answer to this question as simple as possible, a new idea is created by combining two or more old ones. They may occur to you on their own. But you cannot count on an endless stream of new ideas. Therefore, you need to use a variety of techniques.
Before giving you a set of such techniques, it should be said that first of all you must clearly define the problem and collect all the necessary information, because it is almost impossible to come up with something new if you do not know what to do ... Therefore, do not be lazy and study the problem and collect all the information that you can find. This will help you start a chain of associations and perhaps new ideas will come to your head right away.
Before you break other people's patterns with your ideas, learn to break your thinking patterns first. If you succeed, your thinking will become more flexible. Here are some techniques to help you do this:
- Challenge assumptions. In any situation, assumptions arise in your head and usually they are repeated every time. Ask yourself questions: "Why do I think this way?", "Can I change the way I think?" Use the Five Whys technique.
- Change the wording of the problem. Framing the problem in one way or another changes your thinking. Look at the problem from different angles: "Why should we solve this problem?", "What happens if we do not solve the problem?", "Can we turn this problem into our advantage?"
- Think the other way around. Turn your thinking inside out. Instead of thinking about solving the problem, think about how to make the situation worse. If you want to create a great website, consider how to create the most awkward website in the world. Sometimes it can help you get a ton of the most interesting ideas or just refresh your thinking.
- Express yourself through different art forms. If you are a musician, try yourself in other forms of art that are completely unrelated to your work. Write stories, draw comics, sculpt with clay or plasticine. Your brain should always be surprised at something.
Business idea: Dump project. Entrepreneurial Experience
There will be a buyer for any thing that is unnecessary for someone. Qiwi managers built a business with 20% profit on this idea
The Svalka warehouse, as its name suggests, is littered with bundles of books, old electronics, and worn furniture. At the entrance there are a crumbling Zaporozhets and a carousel covered with an awning with a pink pony. render completely. "Dump" earns on the resale of unnecessary things taken out at the request of the previous owners. A strange activity for the head of investment projects of the Qiwi group? “The first months we lived in complete chaos,” Alexei Barinsky does not hide. "But now it's serious business." Having started in the fall of last year, by the summer of 2021, "Dump" reached an average monthly turnover of 2 million rubles with a net profit of 15-20% of revenue.
In June 2021, Barinsky and his wife Irina moved from a removable "odnushka". Standing among the boxes, the couple wondered what to do with a bunch of junk, which they did not want to transport, but it was also a pity to throw it away. Alexei figured that he would give his old things for 10,000 rubles. Subsequently, he managed to sell them by placing ads on Avito and in social networks - in total he accumulated 80,000 rubles. “That is eight times more than I originally wanted,” the entrepreneur recalls. "So this is a great business idea."
Barinsky spoke with Dmitry Ukhanov, co-founder and IT director of Qiwi. He said that the other day he gave 15,000 rubles to a team that took out old window frames and household appliances from his apartment after repairs. Together they began to fantasize about a business flea market. Things that are not needed by someone (export is free!) Can be resold: old books - to second-hand booksellers, clothes - second-hand, equipment and furniture in good condition - to rental companies, vintage - to restorers and antiques dealers, rags - to recyclers. We discussed the project for a year. The Barinsky and Ukharov went around the flea markets of Moscow. “It so happens that the thought does not lag behind you,” Barinsky shrugs. "Then you have to take it, do it and see what happens."
In September 2021, Irina Barinskaya, community manager of the BlaBlaCar service, announced on her Facebook: let's get rid of old things! In a few days, the number of re-posts grew to 4000. “We quickly made a website and put an assistant on the phone,” Ukhanov says. - Already in the middle of the day he called us from another number: let us go for lunch for 15 minutes, the phone is broken! " On the first day of work, "Dump" received about 150 applications for removal, a week later - more than a thousand. A couple of weeks later, when the number of requests increased to 3,000, the company had a warehouse with employees for sorting, three gazelles and a team of loaders.
The founders of Svalka have invested over 1.5 million rubles in the business. Experimentally, they established the optimal ransom price so that things would be given more willingly - 35 rubles per kilogram. During the first 10 months of work, more than 600 tons of items were brought to the warehouse. Now, on average, the deliverer is paid 110 rubles with the cost of leaving 450 rubles. It is most profitable to sell clothes - it brings up to 700% of the profit. Svalka's clients are 13 Moscow second-hand shops. Among the rubbish of Moscow apartments, valuable things come across. So, a musical chest of the XIX century, bought by "Dump" for 2,500 rubles, at an antique online auction went for more than 80,000 rubles.
The creators of the project believe that their main achievement is that they have learned to attach everything bought back. They organize flea markets themselves twice a week in a separate hall next to the warehouse (premises are rented from a radio industrial research institute). Furniture and old electronics, which cannot be restored, are given to "Debosch" - your own indoor attraction, where you can throw an old iron into CRT monitors or smash a crumbling sideboard with a hammer. In June 2021, "Debosh" was taken to the Moscow Geek Picnic festival - there was a queue to the attraction.
In the summer of 2021, Svalka opened franchise offices in St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Yekaterinburg and Tomsk. By the end of the year, its revenue for 14 months of existence, according to the founders, should amount to 30 million rubles (excluding franchising). Spouses Barinsky and Dmitry Ukhanov want to sell as many things as possible through their own online store in order to spend less on transportation and keep retail margin for themselves. So far, the online store for which, according to Alexei Barinsky, the most interesting items are selected, accounts for 20% of sales.
We also need to speed up the collection of things. Now about 30 consignments are exported per day, but I would like three times more. Therefore, the owners of "Svalka" have agreed on a partnership with the PickPoint postamat network. As the founder of PickPoint, Nadezhda Romanova, explains, the company is developing a reverse logistics service for customer returns and this model is suitable for the "Landfill": 450 out of 800 PickPoint terminals will be involved in collecting unnecessary things. Further, the Barinsky and Ukhanov plan to negotiate with one of the taxi aggregators on the delivery of things to customers. We intend to involve offices, restaurants and hotels in the circle of suppliers, create art objects from old things for various festivals and entertainment events.
“We have learned to attract those who are ready to give anything, have learned to sell it to anyone and would like to make the most of these competencies,” explains Ukhanov. “We didn't want to be seen as a huckster, so at some point we decided to send part of the proceeds to“ Dobro. ail. u ". It's calmer for us, ”says Alexey Barinsky. According to him, 70% of the net profit is transferred to charity. The rest is enough to maintain the viability of the project, although its founders have begun negotiations with potential investors to attract up to 50 million rubles for development.
Dmitry Ukhanov, like Alexey Barinsky, continues to work at Qiwi. But with such growth rates, "Dump" can become their main business, entrepreneurs are sure. And Irina Barinskaya left BlaBlaCar to focus on Svalka. me and Deboche. “We launched on time,” she explains. - In Russia, the trend of reasonable consumption is gaining momentum: people want to spend less, live easier, share housing together through Airbnb, and places in a car through BlaBlaCar. We also caught a wave of interest in sharing, and now the main thing is not to stop. "
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The ability to generate good ideas is needed in any area of life: travel, business, communication and relationships, while cooking. After all, an idea is a combination of several concepts into one, new one, which can fill your life, make it somewhat different. But coming up with good ideas is hard. Rather, today it may be very easy for you, but tomorrow it is simply impossible. How to put this process on the conveyor and become an idea generating machine? Here is a Q&A guide.
What is an Idea Machine?
You will be like a superhero. In every situation you are in, you will have tons of ideas. For any question that interests you, you will know the answer or understand how to find it. You will be able to see a way out in almost any difficult situation, because creative thinking exists for this.
Being an idea machine means opening your mind to a constant stream of new thoughts, concepts and associations.
You just need to start coming up with 10 ideas every day for 30 days. Then it will become a habit and you will not be able to live without going to bed, without inventing anything new.
How can you build creative muscle?
Get a notebook. Go to a cafe. Read a motivational book for 10-20 minutes. Now start writing down ideas. What kind? Any that come to mind. The main thing is exactly 10 ideas.
You don't need anything else. A small notepad that is convenient to carry and a pen.
If you are asked to come up with 10 ideas for a book you could write, then you can easily come up with four or even five ideas at once. On the sixth, you will most likely already begin to tense. Now your brain is really working. When was the last time? Not for work, but rather for exercise?
Therefore, 10 ideas, because this is the minimum required amount for you to start tense.
What if I can't come up with ideas?
Surely many of you know people who are obsessed with a flawless body. They spend all their free time in fitness rooms and enjoy it. Opening their own fitness club for them is a great business idea and an opportunity to turn a hobby into a business.
If you have extensive and valuable knowledge of kickboxing, yoga, tai-bo or any other direction, you can open your own fitness club or get a job as a trainer in a sports center or school.
We all held a camera in our hands and took beautiful pictures. But some people just have a gift for photography. If you are a great photographer, constantly learn something new and do not stop generating ideas for shots, then you can easily turn your hobby into a successful business.
Every professional photographer should have a great portfolio. To create one, first offer photography at low prices or take pictures at all for free. Then, when you become a sought-after specialist, customers will find you themselves.
For some, music is not just a hobby, but a way of life, an integral part of it. If this is just about you, think about how to make money from your hobby. Opening a school for playing the violin, saxophone, vocal courses - these are just a few of the options for implementing this idea.
If you are a dedicated fan of fashion, you know everything about the latest trends in this direction, then you have every chance to turn your hobby into a business. Fashion experts can work as stylists, image makers, sew clothes.
In addition, people who are well versed in fashion write books on this topic, articles for well-known magazines, and blog. In general, the scope for activity is wide.
Among those who like to pamper themselves and loved ones with something tasty are both women and men. A cooking hobby can be a profitable business too. Start a cake baking or diet food business. You can distribute culinary masterpieces first among relatives, friends, acquaintances, and then gradually expand.
Business leaders call creativity the most important quality of a modern leader. But not all companies understand how to work with creative people and how to create teams that will generate new ideas and products.
The process of creating something new always consists of three stages: generating ideas, validating what was invented and implementation. Ideally, each stage should be performed by a separate team with different competencies and different control and management methods. Let's take a look at how each of the stages works, why there are always more generators than validators, and what to do if you have only one command for everything.
People and generator teams work effectively through intuition, breadth of education, and expertise in the industry or related sciences. They are contraindicated in strict regulations, stressful conditions and regular reports on the work done.
A typical visible process for generators will be many meetings with users, interviews, walking around the table, sticking data stickers on the wall, sudden meetings, or leaving alone to smoke and think. This is normal, and it should be: the brain takes time to form new ideas from the data received.
A variety of experiences and perspectives are important for this team. Therefore, the team should not just recruit people of different gender, age and race, but look for employees with different personality traits, values and abilities. For such a team, psychological safety and a culture of idea creation are important. It is enough once, when a colleague speaks venomously about an idea, the filters “generate something that cannot be laughed at” are turned on, and the quality of ideas decreases.
The generator team doesn't have to be big. In a book about the power of introverts, Suzanne Kane writes that a large number of quality ideas can be generated by one person. But most researchers agree that the optimal team size for generating ideas is 3 people. If less, there will not be enough different opinions and points of view, if more, coordination problems will begin.
Generators often try to retrain themselves as validators, but they have different types of thinking and skills. Therefore, it is better to involve different people. Validation is the process of understanding the value of an idea or product to a consumer. Validators work on logic, they need a developed prefrontal cortex, stress, overload and bad mood are contraindicated. In Agile, the validation system is represented by the Product Owner.
A validator must have a good knowledge of the culture of the company and be an expert in the industry and business. But it is better if he does not understand the ways of implementation. Otherwise, the validator will choose not the most profitable, but the simplest and most understandable one. And this affects the quality of the selection.
A validator can work alone, or rather make a decision alone, but it needs a lot of input. Therefore, an effective process is, for example, a user story map, when users, generators, validator and implementers together build the entire system visually - for example, on the wall with stickers - and determine what it will not work without, and what is interesting, but not necessary.
Implementers are the creative team that creates a tangible product. Implementers operate on a dopamine delivery system and need a short, predictable process with pre-defined control points. For this command, micromanagement and too frequent task changes are prohibited. The implementers answer the question “how can this be done” - and yes, this is also a creative process, because this “how” will be new every time.