In an earlier blog post I discussed the importance of finding your best environment for innovation and creative thinking.  Click Here to read that post about finding your “thoughtful spot”.

When looking for your perfect innovation environment, consider these factors:

  1. Location – Inside or outside. In your home, at work, in your car, at school, or at a coffee shop.  In an urban location or in the country.
  2. Time of Day – Morning, afternoon, or evening.  Are you most creative when you are wide awake or later in the day?  Do you tend to identify creative ideas on weekdays or weekends?
  3. Noise Level or Activity Level – Do you generate ideas in quiet settings or in loud environments, such as a noisy restaurant or a busy amusement park.  I know several people that develop their best ideas in noisy places.  They believe that the noise causes them to block out all the external sounds and focus on developing creative solutions to problems or unmet needs.
  4. Alone or In A Group – Many individuals best identify innovations and creative ideas in a solitary setting, while others do better in a mastermind or brainstorming group. I often combine these two settings:  identify a list of possible solutions to a problem by myself, then brainstorm with others to further refine the solutions and/or pick one to implement.

There are many other factors, but this list will get you started.  When you identify a great idea, first write it down.  Then, make a note of where you are and what you are doing (look at the list above for reminders).  As you record ideas and the environmental factors, you will soon see a pattern – common places, times, or conditions that seem to spark creative ideas for you.  When you want to develop new ideas, put yourself in that environment to stimulate your creative energy.

It doesn’t matter what environment is best for you – what’s important is discovering that environment so you can go to your own “thoughtful spot” when you want to focus on creativity and innovation.  Give your business partners and employees the freedom to find their own creative environments, rather than forcing them into an environment that is not appropriate for their creative activities.