Tag Archives: creativity

What’s the BIG IDEA? Post YOUR ideas here!

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that things have definitely changed!  For example, we used to do business with companies that had been established many years ago.  Very old companies  meant trust, reliability, and the belief that they had the products we needed and wanted.  Now one wonders if being an old, established company is a benefit or a liability!

Here’s what I mean…. Doing business “the way it’s always been done” is a good way to go OUT OF BUSINESS!  Change, innovation, creativity, ease of use, the latest invention, the newest trend….companies and individuals that understand this change will be the success stories of today and tomorrow.  Recent history is proof.  Great examples of failure to innovate fast enough can be seen in  publishing and the music industry.

Today a new product or service can be launched 24/7 worldwide by anyone with a computer, and even that has changed in just the last year!  This is the year of the smartphone and tablet.  We are all equipped, around the clock and around the world, to seek out new information, new products, and share new ideas. 

It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time!  Creativity is rewarded and yesterday’s products are boring!  Consumers are asking, “what have you released today?”

So I’m asking today, “What’s the BIG IDEA?”  I think it would be really exciting if everyone reading this blog would share a link in the comments below to the latest big ideas.  What have you discovered today that you would like to share?  What have you created that everyone will be talking about tomorrow?

The opportunities just ahead are incredible!  Can you see them?  Share your comments below, or connect with me at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart  Today’s thoughts by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….


Don’t Re-Invent The Wheel

I’ve been discussing creativity recently, so this post is going to sound strange. But several times today I’ve thought about the futility (or total waste of time) of doing things in new ways that are already being done quite well.  The best use of our time might be using the existing methods, templates, or organzations that already exist.  Why mess with a good thing?  There is some truth in the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Creating something new is great, but remember that it causes discomfort, fear, and resistance. Change is never easy.  Allowing the “wheel” to roll meets very little resistance.  Do you reallly want to create roadblocks to progress?

Remember that 99% will always be followers.  It is the rare person who invents, leads, creates.  If you are an “outlier” or “entrepreneur”….keep doing what you do….we need you!  But remember that change will always be met with resistance.

Can you think of examples of ships that have gone off in a new direction, leaving the fleet behind, never to be seen again?  I’m trying to paint a mental picture here, so bear with me!  My point is that new is not always better.  Established methods get the work done!  Don’t be discouraged when no one follows you into the unknown.  Just realize that change is slow.

Maybe we just need to improve on what we already have.  Can you think of a process, method, or organization that could do the work better without being re-invented?  My challenge to you today is “Stay the course and focus on improvement.”  

Random thoughts at the end of the day by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….








How Do We Become Creative?

I’ve been thinking about creativity all day today.  I had a hard time coming up with a title for this blog.

Should I have called it “Creative People” and listed the accomplishments of the most amazing people I could find, or should I have said  “On Being Creative”….kind of existential…. or should I have asked “What is Creativity?” and gone into a lengthy dictionary style definition?

In the end, I decided to ask, “How Do We Become Creative?”  Are we born creative?  Is it something we can learn?  Certainly I think we can point to a genetic origin.  If we didn’t have creative ways of coping with our environment, we might not have survived as a species.  But as we evolved, we learned from trial and error, and creativity became a learned activity. 

You might wonder why I’m concerned with creativity.  I should hope you are too.  If it were not for creative minds, we would have no progress, no invention, no future to look forward to.

So, how do you become creative?  Start by observing everything….from the commonplace to the exotic.  Ask yourself where the idea came from.  Take the time to trace it’s origin.

As you look at items or concepts, you might ask, “Was it’s purpose to solve a problem?”   “Was it developed to entertain?”  Might it be used in a different way than originally intended?  Look around the room right now.  As you look at each item, don’t you wonder why someone made it?  Did it exist 100 years ago?  Will it exist 100 years from now?  What might replace it 1000 years from now?  Let your mind explore the possibilities!

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here, but as we think about creative ideas, do you keep some ideas and toss others based on a cost/benefit analysis?  If we think too hard, we may have never had skateboards or hula-hoops!  Some things just need to be created….we’ll think about the details later!

My challenge for you today is to look at everything with a creative eye.  From processes and routines, to products you use 24/7…. and give yourself permission to consider alternatives, different combinations, or a totally new idea.  Ask “Why”….or ask “Why Not?” 

Exercise your creativity….the future depends on it!


Musings from Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….