When you’re trying to be more innovative in your business, there are plenty of blogs, books and articles out there to guide you. But sometimes, you need to get away from reading about innovation and into something more creative.
Authors who write about innovation tend to focus on its business aspects, such as systematizing your innovation process, assessing the market value of your ideas and executing on the concepts you develop. That’s all well and good, but when your brain is feeling more like the Sahara Desert than an endless well of ideas, sometimes you need to read something a little more focused on creativity. Here are three blogs to get your wheels turning.
Scott Berkun is the author of The Myths of Innovation and Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds, an essayist for Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and a speaker on creativity and management. True to that description, his blog ranges through myriad topics–some that are more business-oriented (“How to Run a Brainstorming Meeting”) to others completely unrelated to business (“How to Pick a President”).
As a public speaker, Berkun grabs attention with an energetic and sometimes outrageous approach. That carries over into his blog, where the no-holds-barred writing style makes his posts enjoyable to read. If writing (whether proposals, articles, blog posts or books) is at all part of what you do, you’ll appreciate his brutally honest posts that demystify the craft of writing—including a time-lapse video of himself actually writing.
Being both creative and productive is a rare skill. Lateral Action, whose tagline is “Creativity + Productivity = Success,” aims to help readers not only be more creative, but also get real results from their ideas. Behind Lateral Action is Mark McGuinness, a poet who makes his living as a coach, trainer and consultant working primarily with creative professionals and entrepreneurs.
“Creativity is the most important skill for economic survival in the 21st century,” McGuinness attests in his blog. “But creative thinking is not enough. You’ve got to actually try novel and unique things, and make those valuable mistakes that teach you way more than your successes.” You’ll feel inspired to greater creativity after reading intriguing posts like “How to Suffer for Your Art (Without Being a Jerk),” “The Kurt Cobain Guide to Startup Success,” and “7 Reasons Creative People Don’t Talk About Money.” This blog is particularly useful for anyone at the intersection of art and business.
Feel like your inspiration is drying up? Jumpstart your own ideas or your next brainstorming session by checking this website (or by following Idea a Day on Twitter). Every day, Idea a Day posts one new idea, ranging from the reasonable (“Allow consumers to pay the cable or satellite company for the amount of time the service is actually used”) to the obscure (“Install a retractible waterproof canopy that can be engaged when a car door opens, keeping the driver dry while they open an umbrella”).
You can flip through past ideas, or click “Surprise Me” to be served a random idea from the site’s more than 10-year inventory. Founded in 2000 by British music executive David Owen, advertising creatives Chas Bayfield and Becky Clarke, and teacher Rupert Kaye in partnership with digital agency Fortune Cookie, Idea a Day has been serving up free ideas ever since. Users can submit their own ideas or comment on others’ ideas, so if you’ve got an idea brewing—no matter how odd—try submitting it here and seeing what feedback you get.
Photo credit: Thinkstock