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Lesson 37 from: Jumpstart Innovation with Adventurous Thinking

Sally Dominguez

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Lesson Info

37. Activated!

Lesson Info


I wanna talk about the adventurous thinking mindset activated. So the idea is, because this is a mindset, and a fresh way of thinking, and a way of thinking in this zone of bearable discomfort. Firstly, it's hard. Two days sitting in bearable discomfort is hard, and this is why I suggest five minutes a day is the best thing you can do. So this class has been two days. My audience has sat here for two days, and we have rushed through exercises, and not actually paused to do them. But obviously, audience, and online, when you have this course, you don't do it in two days. I would suggest that you do the lesson with the exercise, the exercise itself needs to be 20 minutes to half an hour, with a debrief, debrief with yourself, debrief with the group you do it with, but in order to activate adventurous thinking, you need to actually do those exercises. Use those worksheets in a group or on your own, and push yourself for the full five minutes. Not a quick one minute by me going, now what d...

o you think? But a full five minutes to force yourself out of expert thinking and truly into possibility. You'll know if you've done it 'cause it's exhausting but exhilarating. Perhaps that's a little how you're feeling right now, audience. It's exhausting, but you also can sense a potential. Like all the different ways that your brain can now think and jump in when you've given yourself permission to not just exist in what you know and in present reality. Kind of exciting. And what I find really exciting about this mindset is you do not need other people. We love other people, and you want to cross-pollinate with other people, but in fact, if you're feeling like you need other people and they're just not there right now, you're trying to develop something, you're somehow socially isolated, whatever it is, adventurous thinking is your friend because it is just as effective when you do it on your own. And it is just as effective at giving you the growth mindset. You can do it with other people and it's awesome fun, and it's extremely productive, but it is equally productive if you do it on your own. And that, if you're like me and you work from home, or maybe sometimes you travel a lot and you're always on your own, it's actually a weirdly comforting thing that you can throw a lens at something and come up with all these crazy ideas and laugh with yourself, going that's just crazy. Keep on going, but it is one of these few things that you don't actually need other people physically there for you to be able to benefit from this mindset because it's all in your head, and that's the key. And so once you've freed it and you felt it, what you need to do is nurture it. So the key is not caring. John Cleese has some amazing things to say about creativity. And I love here where he talks about, you know, you can tolerate the confusion if you understand that you are in this area of bearable discomfort. You can actually embrace the confusion when you don't care about small daily failure. You can embrace the confusion understanding that you're actually making this, you're working with this incredible plasticity that the human brain has. You're building these neural pathways that you don't even know where they're going because the brain doesn't care. The brain doesn't care if it's real. The brain doesn't care if it's completely imaginary or completely absurd. All it's doing is knitting together all these new aspects and giving them back to you as this massively enhanced brain. So it's kind of exciting. What you just have to do is embrace the failure, and embrace this concept of confusion, and be unafraid of it. And it's a beautiful release when you realize that actually, if you're feeling confused, you have all these mechanisms, these tools, and these abilities to think through it and come up with something really cool on the other side. What I find the side effect of adventurous thinking is, this mindset, is you can come up with all sorts of weird, cool things, and your friends just go, that's amazing. Right, ideas. They can be slow ideas if you're an introvert, or fast ideas if you're an extrovert, but I will guarantee you that once you've felt this mindset, you will come up with things that other people have not thought of quite consistently, which can be really good. You'll be invited to all the dinner parties, it's key. So, in order to nurture your adventurous thinking, you wanna work with five minutes a day, and you force yourself to cross-pollinate. So what I do, I actually have a couple of sites that come into my inbox every morning, and I pick one of them. I like GizMag, which I think has a new name now, or product design and development. Basically I look for sites that I don't really understand. So for me, that's pointy edge medical tech, pointy edge material science, or pointy edge tech tech. And I'm trying to come up with an app right now that does what I'm about to say, 'cause it would be really useful, but ironically this app will be counter-intuitive to what we would normally do on our computer. So you know, normally we go online, we find something interesting, and we disappear down the rabbit hole. Right, we start reading it and we go, well that's really interesting, and then we dig a bit deeper, and we click on the links, and we're gone. But the discipline is to shut everything after five minutes. So if it were an app, which I'm still working on, but it will be one day, it would open a window into one of these sites, where we really don't know much. We'd read a random article on self-dissolving and self-building robotics, or anything else that pops up that's like, I don't even know what I'm reading but this is amazing. Pointy edge stuff. And then this app would shut the book after three minutes, and it would say to us, how does this relate to the work I'm doing today? And we'd have another two minutes to go, it doesn't. And then go, but I've gotta make it. The weirdest cross-pollination. Of course it doesn't relate to what you're doing today. There's no way it does. But how can you make it? You know, money's no object. Nothing, reality is no object. But how can you make it? And you force yourself to make this bizarre relocation, because you don't know whether in fact that connection is gonna result in something really good. That's the beauty of unexpected connections, you don't know. Think about your school reunion. You had friends at school. You hung with certain people, but when you go back to your 30 year school reunion, last year, the people you wanna hang with now are completely different. Your people are no longer your people. So what you know right now is not what you need to know in a little bit of time. If you start grasping these things that you don't know right now that look really weird and strange and unrelated, who's to say that in about half an hour, or in a week, they're not gonna be actually an essential part of what you're doing. So this is the way that we can really provoke curiosity on the daily without upsetting our time management people. Five minutes, and that's it. So until I've developed the app, you have to promise yourself that you will only read these weird and crazy sites for three minutes. Set a Pomodoro timer, I don't know. Do what you gotta do. But three minutes of reading something way beyond your area of expertise. And two minutes forcing yourself to apply that to something you're doing in some fantastical way. Not just the idea, oh that would be funny, but actually working through it. Like what in fact could that be. What could this incredible robot that prints itself and then walks away and then dissolves in water, what could that possibly have to do with the new sales team I'm engaging? I don't know, but you can make it so. Right, and that's the way to provoke your curiosity on the daily, five minutes. But then you could also just use a lens. I would provoke it with outside information, 'cause the lens can come during the day when you're actually operating on stuff with people or alone. But the other key is to make sure you have structures for idea sharing. Make sure that you have given yourself the time to go out and actively seek the people that you don't normally talk to. Or get the people you do normally talk to who have wide-ranging interests, and maybe pose some problem. So right now, my coffee group and I, my coffee group ranges from a 24-year-old to an 82-year-old. All different, guys and girls, some with kids, some without, a couple of dogs. Our coffee group right now is trying to redesign health aids for all the people. We're calling it HIP. And we're like, you know, what if you just had this big semi-trailer full of really good stuff, and you could just go to various shopping centers and demonstrate it, 'cause people wanna try it out, and then they could order it. Could we not be the Apple of old age care? We think we maybe could be. And we're trying to work it out. That's just a coffee group, that's my pizza group. You could go to a group of people that always hang together and go, let's just try and work on something. Let's just do a little bit every week. Like our HIP group, we've only done about, I'm gonna say, max 40 minutes in three different sessions. That's okay, it's just bubbling away in the back of your mind, and occasionally someone writes something up on the Facebook group. So no matter how it is, you gotta keep your curiosity constant. And whether that's going online for that three minutes and then relating it, the important thing is forcing yourself to relate that back to something that you're doing. That's the tricky bit. Reading the article is not hard. And so, finally, to my favorite person. Do or do not, there is no try. Adventurous thinking is all about activating. You have to do it. Take these exercises, take them to your people, take them home to yourself, and you have to try it, and you have to force yourself for five minutes to push through and feel that crazy bearable discomfort, and activate that optimism, and that ability to dream and learn. 'Cause that will be the future, thank you. (applauding)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Creativity Quiz Worksheet
Rebound Worksheet
Core Value Worksheet
Innovation Quadrant Worksheet
Which Lens Worksheet
Backcasting Worksheet

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Ratings and Reviews

Ivana Vucinic

This class is truly AMAZING! It is really unique and it got me thinking in new and innovative ways. Very much out of the box thinking! Makes you become courageous, Well done, Sally!!!

Sukey Dominguez

Jumpstart Innovation with Adventurous Thinking exceeded my expectations! Sally brought practical tools that, "lenses" to flip every situation inside out and find the possibilities in every situation. As one who works to lead teams, healthcare providers facing incredible demands to achieve results in population health / ultimately global health and the wellness of business operations, I'm thrilled to have found this course. Design is one thing, taking risk is another. I'm inspired by Sally because she drives energy to see what CAN be in the future. This is a unique class and I look forward to her next offering.

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