top of page

Michael Gardon

  • Writer's pictureMichael Gardon

7 Rules to Unlock Creativity that I Learned From IDEO - The Break Issue 43

Updated: Mar 13



A big thank you to our sponsor for helping me bring this newsletter to you!


Looking for a new job or looking to hire in 2023?


Start with ZipRecruiter today to find the best opportunities and candidates out there. I'm proud to partner with this award winning company to bring you this newsletter absolutely free.


Welcome to The Break, a weekly (video) newsletter where I provide stories and actionable insights on breaking work and building the future you want.


If you like what you’ve been reading follow along on Twitter ( @mngardon ) and Linkedin for more community and conversations about breaking work.


Today At A Glance


  • Most of us struggle to think creatively about our careers

  • The main problem is as adults we start to judge ideas as "rational" or not

  • World class Design Thinking firm, IDEO created 7 Rules to help us be more creative

  • These rules can be applied to thinking about your career, or inside your company to unleash your creative energy

Advantage Mapping Foundations Pre-Launch:


To get more creative about your career and life design, check out: Advantage Mapping Foundations . Advantage Mapping is all about a systematic, high-odds approach to career discovery.


In it I teach:

  1. How to find your edge by thinking like a Designer

  2. How to execute rapid experiments to find signal just like an Entrepreneur

  3. How to to manage risk like a seasoned Investor

Simply click below to check out the Advantage Mapping Foundations page!



IDEO's 7 Rules To Be A Better Idea Machine At Work and While Designing Your Life


Creativity is one of the most in demand skills for the future, and its crucial for making better every day decisions about your career.


But 95% of adults don't brainstorm effectively. I've seen this first hand in innovation teams, and found it also pertains to our inability to think outside the box of our own careers.


The basic problem is we are conditioned to edit while we create.


This is a no-no.


I learned creativity from working with design firm IDEO.


To Ideo, Ideation is a two step process:


1. Diverge and go NUTS!

2. Converge and edit through constraints or by combining ideas


To help teams get more creative, they came up with “7 RULES FOR BRAINSTORMING”.


Be more creative by following them.


1/ DEFER JUDGEMENT


Judging is editing. You can't simultaneously come up with ideas and judge them. It's like how you can't be happy and mad at the same time.


Criticism fosters less creativity.


Keep your ideation sessions judgement free zones.


Especially for your own ideas :) We need to be less critical of ourselves if we want to do anything worth while, so start here and give yourself permission to have a wild idea.


2/ ENCOURAGE WILD IDEAS


Theres a fine line between crazy and brilliant.


Usually the craziest out of the box ideas have nuggets of gold in them.


Even if you throw most of the idea away.


Don't be afraid to go wild. You can edit later.


3/ BUILD ON THE IDEAS OF OTHERS


Some of the best ideas are builds because building fosters momentum.


It's like a warm up for your brain.


That's why improv has a rule to use "yes and".


Another one: ask "why not" instead of "why".


Another one: stay away from asking "how" - ever in a brainstorm.


4/ STAY FOCUSED ON TOPIC


Going wide can easily get you off topic.


Set clear boundaries for the ideation so everyone keeps their eyes on the prize.


5/ ONE CONVERSATION AT A TIME


This mostly applies to group brainstorms, but I personally tend to get several thought tracks going at the same time.


Pause and give one idea space at a time instead of crossing the streams


(great Ghostbusters ref there!)


6/ BE VISUAL


It helps to draw your ideas - even if you suck.


or use groups and colors to visualize


In our sessions we'd use colored post-it's and colored markers to help group and visualize ideas.


Here's how I drew some ideas to visualize a risk comparison between "entrepreneurship" and "corporate." (yes, I too, suck at drawing).



7/ GO FOR QUANTITY


Stage 1 is all about numbers.


In 30 minutes you should be able to generate 50 ideas


Even if you throw 80% away, you still have some gold to mine


PARTING THOUGHTS


Adults are wired to be critical. this tendency stifles innovation. These rules are designed to circumvent that critical lens to generate instead of edit - To become more creative apply these rules and feel like a kid again!


Try them out the next time you are daydreaming about what comes next for you. At the very least, you'll get to feel like a kid again ;)

See you again next week.


Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:


1. Get in the Breaking Work conversation on Linkedin. Messages are open. Follow me here .

2. Find your new job! Remote tech jobs curated for you. Follow me on Pallet .

3. Promote your brand/business to 14k+ subscribers by sponsoring our newsletter contact partners@rejoinmedia.com (Booked out 4 weeks)


The Break Job Board


I teamed up with Pallet to create a curated job board for our community ! These jobs are tech focused, remote first opportunities. I’d love it if you followed. Maybe, just maybe you’ll find your next big opportunity here.


Here are a few featured opportunities:

Also, If you’re looking to support the community and have a job to post, you can do so by clicking the ‘ Post a Job’ button.


The Latest Conversation on THE BREAK Pod


My next guest is Josiah Goff, Vice President of Product at Tune, a technology for partner marketing programs and affiliate networks.


Josiah has been on both sides of the entrepreneurial journey. He believes that only after leaving behind the safety net of corporate life could he truly concentrate on achieving success on his own terms. Additionally, he stresses that personal transformation is crucial to becoming ready to start one's own business.


We get real deep and real on personal transformation leading to career transformation. Josiah shares the two questions that changed his life (#2 is amazing)


You won’t want to miss Josiah’s journey and how he found his break by leaving entrepreneurship and going back to work for a company - a journey he said he never could have made if he hadn’t struck out on his own and learned some valuable lessons working for himself. Keep listening, and if you dig the convo please leave us a 5 star review so others can discover these conversations.


You made it to the end! Hopefully you learned something about breaking your career today! If so, please share this with someone you care about.


P.S. What did you think of today's email? Click one of the ratings below to send us your feedback. We'd love to know what you think!


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This was super helpful!

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Could be better.



15 views0 comments
bottom of page