Getting Creative with The Dean of Innovation

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Bill Dubois

, host of our Late Late Supply Chain Show, had the opportunity to sit down with Jeff DeGraff, a well-respected innovation thought leader dubbed “The Dean of Innovation” to find out what you can do to get those creative juices flowing. And yes, it does involve stepping outside of your comfort zone. DeGraff says it really takes three main things to become an innovator, and all of them relate to diversifying your thinking. Be Self Aware The first stop on the journey to a more ‘innovative you’ is to become aware of your thinking patterns. DeGraff says that while many of us continually work to improve ourselves, we rarely take the time to examine our dominant logic, which is a set of tenets or beliefs that determines what we value and what we don't. This dominant logic is often what gets us stuck in grooves that can be hard to get out of. By recognizing your dominant logic, and finding a way to rise above it, you’ll have a better chance at innovation. Feed Your Head DeGraff says it’s critically important to “get different things in your head.” He suggests reading something you wouldn’t normally read, encountering something you wouldn’t normally encounter, and looking for the good in those experiences. Change the Guard Surrounding yourself with the same people day after day may be a way to make you more socially comfortable, but it could be killing your innovation process. DeGraff says he routinely sees people only hang out with those who have the same thoughts and beliefs as they do. He recommends expanding your intellectual horizons by going to different places and taking part in different groups. You never know what you’ll learn!

Watch the entire interview below to see what else DeGraff has to say on innovation.

Now that you’ve learned the keys to unlocking your creativity, it’s time to put your new skills to good use. So strap on your idea hat and get to work on becoming the next great innovator of the 21st century! Or just use them to come up with an amazing concept to impress your boss at your next business meeting. Your choice!

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