Monday, 2 November 2015

Two minds think alike!

I recently met Peter Cook, top management consultant and founder of the Academy of Rock. We talked the entire afternoon, in the pleasant surroundings of Rochester Cathedral, about our shared interest in music and, more specifically, about how its creative principles and practices can be applied more widely to people's lives and work.

We spoke, interrupted only by the need for coffee and tea (and in Peter's case a bacon butty), about many things, but three things stuck in my mind:

1. The power of re-expressing things
2. The power of combining diverse things
3. The power of keeping things simple

Composers and musicians re-express their own and others' music through different mediums and arrangements. They work hard at finding ways to combine and integrate diverse ideas. They also know how to achieve maximum impact by doing the simple, sometimes silly thing.

How would a problem look if you drew it rather than talked about it? How would a problem sound when described in a different way by different people? How would a problem feel if you experienced it or created a physical model of it? 

How could a new solution be combined with an old solution? How could two or more good solutions be combined to create an even better solution? How could seemingly random or unrelated ideas be combined to create an unexpected solution?

What is the simplest way to describe a problem?  What is the simplest, most na├»ve question you could ask about a problem? What is the simplest, smallest step you could take towards solving a problem?      

Begin creating new and innovative solutions by regularly asking yourself a few of the above questions.

I hand over to Peter to emphasise and summarise the above points (plus one or two others) in his own entertaining, memorable and highly effective way:  


  Click here

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