CADDManager on October 28th, 2008
This entry is part 4 of 17 in the series Adding Value

Creativity is valuable. Not many have it in great quantities. Not many use it to their advantage. CAD Managers can bring value to their firm by being creative in their approach to management, problem solving and decision making.

Creative thinking can take on many flavors. It can come from many places. Tons of input is needed for the creative mind to start generating original ideas. Where does creativity come from? How does it work?

I am no expert on this subject, but I do have some concepts that I have seen work and have helped others to become creative in their thinking.

1. Read everything you can get your hands on. So many times creativity comes from applying one industries ideas to another industry. Ford applied the assembly line concepts that were observed in the meat packing industry for butchering beef. Animal carcasses were “disassembled” as they moved along conveyors. Each person removed the same portion of the beef and so they perfected and sped up the process. Ford just applied it to making cars.

2. Think. I am positive that people just don’t spend enough time thinking. Our lives are too busy and we don’t have time to do it any longer. We rush from one meeting to another. From one task to another. From one sporting event with our kids to another. Who has time to think.

3. Don’t assume you know it all. We are technical people working in a technical environment. We think we have the answers. We confidently stride forward with our plans and assumption without first stopping to see what we do not know. We start “doing” before we have enough information to really create something. We assume that activity = creativity.

4. Experiment and play more. When was the last time you tried something new. Or tried something that you thought might fail? Unless you try things out, you may never know what might work. Remember when you were a kid and you pushed or pulled on something to see if it would break? When was the last time you did that with technology?

5. Don’t stop at “good enough”. When we find an answer we stop looking. It may not be the best answer, but it is an answer. When you figure something out, ask more questions. Is this the best we can do? Is it the most effective? Keep analyzing after others have stopped.

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