How do you think innovatively?
After 4 years of research, we found the answer to one of the most often asked questions: “How did you guys come up with all your innovative ideas?” One in particular, “How do you think innovatively? Tell me, step by step”. Four years ago we did not have any clear answer. Our answers were pretty much what all innovative minds would say, “Think big, think outside the box, think different, think bold….” but all these commands don’t even scratch the surface. They don’t say anything about how to think innovatively. And the only thing we found out: there are no tangible answers.
Nobody could Answer that Question
We took all our previous business ideas upside down, looking for clues. We found a few and when talking to other innovative founders we found some similarities but still no tangible answer to “how we think”. A year into it we found ways to create disruptive business models we were even beginning to teach it to startups with a surprisingly high success rate of about 50%. We realized that by looking at the behavior of the brain outcome we needed to truly understand how the brain is actually getting so amazingly creative and whether this apparently random process has at least some pattern.
Key to Extreme Creativity – There is no Creativity at all
Our first encounter with neuroscience was more depressing than anything else. Tons of arguments and discussions about brain damage, brain illnesses, and so forth. Almost giving up on that path we found Dr. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist from Stanford University talking about neural pathways, and how they connect and possible disconnect. For the next three years, we learned how the brain is not creating anything but composing new ideas based on previous experiences and previous experiences only. It became clear that homo sapiens is no creative and cannot “create” a single new idea. BUT – and that was the ultimate key to innovative thinking: All humans can compose new ideas by compiling them from past experiences. Hence our initial slogan: “Stop thinking outside the box – your innovative ideas are already inside”. Far more to learn than it would fit inside this blogpost.
Corpus Callosum (Callum)
One of the things we learned is how the Corpus Callosum operates in our brain. It sits deep below the two brain halves and connects both sides with approximately 200 Million nerve fibers (Axons). In this process, it also filters far-reaching “events” if it cannot see a meaning. While this is an important, energy-saving mechanism and in the past 300,000 years even a life saving protection, it may be an obstacle when coming to extraordinary and unique idea formation. Our 3-pound brain, by the way, is the most energy-consuming organ in our body. And if we stress it too much we notice: “Oh I’m brain dead now – or – oh my brain explodes….” In those moments we realize, it is giving up on us and wants to reduce energy consumption. But if we use it carefully and try not to overload it all at once, it provides an amazing service. It delivers groundbreaking ideas – Innovation – on the silver plate. Obviously, our understanding of the Callum is in a very early stage – but it helped us to get to a fundamentally different approach when it comes to innovation. AND – it gave our new solution its name: BlueCallom.