Connections Flows and Creativity

When I started using LEAN and CI to invent a new magic act I had no idea where my creative ideas were going to come from. My legacy in the past was terribly uncreative. I would buy other magician’s illusions and tricks then put my spin on them. Being an innovator was NOT in my wheelhouse…that is until I bought into LEAN methods.

Without getting into the finer details I’ll tell you this much, what I did was ground breaking, at least for me it was. I think the biggest breakthrough was fully understanding my connections and flows. Granted, there are many ways of looking at our processes, top downs, process mapping, value streams and then there is the magic one, connections and flows. I can’t speak for everyone, but I think connections and flows is THE most important and revealing step in fully understanding what it is you do.

Ok, so why is this so important? This is a magic act, big deal who cares. That’s what I thought too! It IS A BIG DEAL if you are trying to be innovative. I was looking at my act as a regurgitation of my variation of someone else’s idea. I needed to find out where I was going to get ideas from, plug them into my newly formed LEAN machine and get to work on an act that will be in world competition. So off I went on the journey into Connections and Flows.

My first map needed to be an assessment of my old flow. I wanted to find out WHY I failed to be creative in the past. Guess what? I found out why! It showed me creative ideas came from only 4 external sources. Making matters worse was my flow, it was fractured. My new flow map pictured above is now a complete unbroken path all the way around my brain. I completed my connections and flows based on what I learned from my old flow map. The new flow brought my creative idea generation up 100%. That’s all fine and dandy. So what? I made a flow chart, big deal…right? YES IT’S A BIG DEAL. Now I know HOW to make my idea machine work. Before I just thought you sat around and came up with crazy ideas. That’s partially true. Sometimes you get a crazy idea but it’s what you do with it that’s so important. That’s where the connections come into play. You need to know WHO do show your new idea to and where it goes from there.

The lesson here is a basic one. You can’t go it alone. Few do and those artists that claim it was ALL their idea are not giving you the full story. Yes, the person on stage may be the performer, but behind the performer are many influencers that got them there. If you are in the creative arts or engineering or a job that requires creative ideas, get your connection and flow map started and see where it takes you.

Once you identify where your ideas are coming from you can nurture those connections. You won’t get creative ideas unless you introduce them into your flow no matter how silly or stupid you feel they are. It’s not good enough to have just one idea. You must put ALL ideas into the flow. If you don’t then you will not get the results you are looking for. Get into the flow and start your path to understand where creativity hides.

© February 2020 Stuart MacDonald. All rights reserved.


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