I was recently interviewed by JournoNews publication. Check out the article for insights on innovation in the workplace and some perspectives from my new book ‘GRASP The Solution’.
Here’s a taster of the interview:
JournoNews chats with Chris Griffiths, CEO of ThinkBuzan and author of ‘GRASP The Solution’, a refreshingly pragmatic approach to making decisions and solving problems creatively.
What prompted you to write ‘GRASP The Solution’?
Essentially, it was a lifelong study into modern brain based strategies that, bit by bit, led to my desire to write the book. Over the years, I’ve applied strategies based on how the brain works in all the companies I’ve been involved in. For instance, at Birchfield, where our educational products were in 80% of UK secondary schools, we didn’t focus just on the content, we focused on the delivery of the content to students and the impact it had on the brain.
The more I delved into the subject and tried out different strategies, the more I came to realise that, while there are lots of tools out there that can help you be more creative and productive, if you happen to use them in the wrong context or frame of mind, they aren’t anywhere near as effective as they should be.
I liken it to a world-class chef. A great chef can have all the best utensils and equipment in the kitchen but without the right ingredients, they aren’t going to be able to create something special. So ‘GRASP The Solution’ came about as a way of putting things into a context and looking at what stops people being creative as well as what makes people be creative.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realise it’s the barriers they impose on themselves that prevent them from coming up with really great ideas and no matter how many tools they use, if they’re using them in the wrong way, in the wrong mindset, they aren’t going to work!
Describe the essence of the book.
The whole spirit of this book is about providing both the context and application for thinking creatively. You need both elements to solve problems and make decisions innovatively using optimal brain processes.
In brief, the book is there to help you deliver what I call ‘practical creativity’. It’s about putting a system and process behind creativity so you can come up with the right ideas and solutions to your challenges, and actually make them happen in the real world.
Give us some examples of how a company can sadly be left behind by ‘insisting on doing things the way they’ve always done them’.
Well, if you do things the way you’ve always done them, people say you’ll get what you’ve always got. But today this no longer counts. I believe if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll actually get left way behind. The fact is — innovation doesn’t come from doing things the same way.
When people and companies base their forward direction on previous experience, and experience that’s worked well, they’re not necessarily innovating. If they solve a problem in the same way that they solved it before – that’s great, they’ve solved the problem. But have they moved forward? Have they innovated? Have they created something new?
Real success in business relies on you doing things differently in a way that customers like and respect. A new design, a new product, a new initiative doesn’t come from doing things the same way. Look at how Apple was able to use its creativity and design to become the largest capitalised technology company in the world. Apple didn’t follow the norm, it went after the ‘new and different’ with spectacular results.
In your engagements with business owners around the world, what are the main challenges they face in successfully getting their message about their products and services ‘out there’, especially now that society is saturated with multi-channel media – online, in print and TV.
Creativity is fundamentally about doing things differently so that you stand out from the crowd. I believe the main challenge that companies face today is a standardisation in pricing and product worldwide.
For example, if I’m going to buy a television, I can choose from hundreds at the top range of pricing and I can choose from hundreds at the bottom range of pricing. So, pricing itself isn’t what will dictate what I buy. Even if I’m aiming to buy one of the lowest cost TVs, because I’ve got a lot to choose from, I’ll pick the one which stands out, for whatever reason that it happens to stand out.
Pricing won’t differentiate you, but good design will. Good design comes through creativity and creativity comes through applying an effective system and process, such as the one I put forward in my book — the GRASP The Solution system.
Read the rest of the interview at www.JournoNews.com: Innovation plus ‘Practical Creativity’ a must in the Workplace’
My book, ‘GRASP The Solution’, is out on 19th October 2011 and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.
Pre-Order from Amazon.co.uk