Innovation often seems constrained by not enough time and resources — but really, it’s a lack of playfulness that prevents our best ideas from emerging.
Entrepreneurs often assume that the biggest barrier to developing great ideas is a shortage of time or resources — but that’s not true. It’s the lack of playfulness in their innovation processes.
According to recent reporting by Fundera, more than 70% of business owners work more than 40 hours per week, and almost 20% work more than 60 hours per week. Yet, they still lack creative solutions to their problems. As someone who spent years as the head of innovation and creativity at Disney, I can tell you exactly why: They’re not leveraging the natural way the brain comes up with “Eureka!” moments.
Let me put this a different way. When do you get your best, brightest, most out-of-the-box ideas? While you’re in the shower, walking your dog, working out, commuting, falling asleep or waking up? Then you’re like most humans on the planet. But I can guarantee you didn’t say, “While I’m at work, of course.”
Even though we’re paid to have big ideas at work, we never have them there. Work is too chaotic and distracting. Our brains focus on emails, presentations and reports. But the second we step away from our occupational lives, we move from what I call a “busy beta” state of mind to an alpha one. In busy beta, the door between the conscious and subconscious brain is firmly closed. In alpha, that door is flung wide open.
How, then, do you get your employees to move toward an alpha state of mind on demand when you’re eager to come up with new concepts for the company? Follow these 4 steps (check them out on entrepreneur.com).