• Sarah E. Brown

Be a Clumsy Student of Something with Natalie Nixon


Are you struggling to get new ideas for innovation? Are you stuck in this so-called “innovation churn”?


Innovations are key to keeping your business growing. But what happens if your ideas and innovation become less and harder to think of? Creativity is the engine of innovation and is needed when coming up with new ideas that can benefit clients.


Natalie Nixon is president of Figure 8 Thinking, a consulting firm than emboldens organizations to apply creativity for transformative business results. A global speaker and regular contributor to Inc. on creativity and the future of work, she is also the editor of Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services, Experiences, and Beyond.


In this episode, Natalie shares her insights on how creativity can help keep ideas flowing and innovation going. She also shares her own experiences on how important it is to unwind for our minds to come up with great and creative ideas.


What you will learn from this episode:

  • Learn how to get unstuck and how to avoid the “innovation churn”

  • Discover the relationship of creativity to innovation

  • Know more on how to unwind your mind in order to have more creative ideas for future innovations


Creativity is the engine for innovation.
- Natalie Nixon


Valuable Free Resource:


Check out Natalie’s Website and Latest Book. Visit: https://www.figure8thinking.com/book/


Topics Covered:


01:21 - Challenges are in shifting paradigms and converting what may initially appear as a marginal status converted into something that's really optimal.


03:18 - Being immersed in the innovation churn: one of the common symptoms business leaders face when they are being consumed with developing innovations


04:48 - One free and actionable tip you can do to address the challenges in innovation churn and creativity: For individuals, be a clumsy student of something. For organizations, embrace creative abrasion


09:58 - One valuable resource to increase creativity in innovation: Natalie’s Website. Visit: https://www.figure8thinking.com/book/


11:05 - Q: How do we get unstuck? A: It's really important to allow your brain to not only be focused on the intense, deeply focused work that's in the frontal lobe, but also for the neural synapses to be rewired for that kind of marination of ideas that are required for breakthrough ideas and for rigor.



Key Takeaways:


“Being a woman in leadership is really about optimizing and accentuating what may be a perceived weakness and identifying it as an asset.” - Natalie Nixon


“So I define creativity as our capacity to toggle between wonder, and rigor to solve problems. So creativity isn't just something that you randomly pull out of your armpit. It requires an incredible amount of rigor, which is the discipline, incessant practice, time on task, showing up over and over again, it's often very solitary work.” - Natalie Nixon


“Be a clumsy student of something. Embrace the ambiguity of learning and all that it cultivates in you and that will be transferable into your daily work.” - Natalie Nixon


“The greatest masters are also really wonderful tinkerers, they are experimenters.” - Natalie Nixon


“It's really important to allow your brain to not only be focused on the intense, deeply focused work that's in the frontal lobe, but also for the neural synapses to be rewired for that kind of marination of ideas that are required for breakthrough ideas and for rigor, I also get in using a timer.” - Natalie Nixon


Ways to Connect with Natalie Nixon:


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Sarah E. Brown 2019