First solution not usually the right one
How often have you attended a meeting where creative thinking was met with, ‘it won’t work’ ‘we don’t work like that here’ ‘you are new and don’t understand’?
Similarly, how often have you seen the first idea being the best idea, or only idea?
In meetings looking for solutions to problems or in brainstorming creative sessions, we have an unfortunate tendency to seize, and often in an act of group think, on the first best solution that presents.
And even worse, if on analysing further, it is not sufficient to solve our problem, we try to modify the solution rather than consider alternatives.
Research has shown that the first solution is seldom the most creative and only occasionally the best.
The first solution is usually the most commonplace solution, and the one most people and your competitors would adopt in the same circumstances.
There is a scientific reason why your first idea isn’t usually your best one. Our brains are lazy. The first idea we have is usually the handiest rather than the best.
To get your brain to your best idea, neurologists will tell us, the key to innovation is to distrust the first answer and send it back.
Once we have cleared our minds of the obvious, we must push our minds further to come up with new ideas.
This is when creativity kicks in and powers our thinking.
I think some people get involved in committees so they can indulge their predilection to rain on everyone’s parade. They have never met an idea they liked.
Their perspectives are perpetually negative, their commentary destructive, hurtful, and non-productive.
In fact their ongoing criticism, cynicism, and negativity can single handedly bring down a group leaving a string of casualties along the way.
Research indicates that people who do that probably don’t know what a creative idea looks like.
Creative ideas are by definition novel and that can trigger feelings of uncertainty that make people uncomfortable.
Uncertainty makes us less able to recognize creativity, perhaps when we need it most.
People dismiss creative ideas in favour of ideas that are purely practical – tried and true.
By and large, we tend to be threatened by creativity, and are eager to shut it down.
Neither intelligence of the smartest member, nor the average intelligence of the group, influences the overall group intelligence.
Instead, social sensitivity, the ability to understand the feelings and thoughts of others, is the most important factor that influences the overall group intelligence.
There is always an opportunity hidden within a problem.
And rather than being a problem solver we should look to become solution creators.
The process of having original ideas that add value is individual and individuals in a group situation will only contribute in a positive, encouraging environment.
If people are scared of being mocked then they are going to be reluctant to step forward with new ideas.
Encouraging multiple perspectives, diverse viewpoints and out of the box thinking increases dramatically the chance of finding not just the best idea but the right idea.
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