Be Innovative Like Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg and Steve Jobs — just a few of the world’s most innovative and creative minds. From the light bulb to the iPhone, our lives will never be the same because they dared to create something new.

The other day I heard someone say that creativity is an idea of the 21st century. I disagree. I believe that creativity has always existed, it has merely evolved.

As a video producer, I am continually thinking of new ways to make the next video different from the last, to deliver high-quality content that is unique to any particular client. (After all, that is what they pay for.)

So, how do we stay on the edge, continue to evolve and consistently inspire creativity? I believe there are three key factors, regardless of whether you are an inventor, a video producer, an artist or an accountant.

  1. Back to the Basics: Some of the most amazing ideas or products can be so basic it makes you sick to your stomach because you wonder “why didn’t I think of that?” We are blessed with great technology and tools that allow us to do great things. But the idea itself is almost always simple. When producing work, I like to go back and look at basic tutorials that are geared towards beginners. Each time I am able to come up with a good idea just by remembering the importance of basic elements and tools in production.
  2. Surroundings: We’ve all heard the saying, “great minds think alike.” And they often think “together.” In other words, you can be as good as the things and people around you. In college a mentor once taught me to surround myself with people who help me do what I do. So as a video producer, I make strong connections with writers, actors, lighting engineers and sound technicians. By entering that particular atmosphere, I am able to learn from them technically and creatively.
  3. Recharge: This is one of the most important factors to evolution of creativity. We’ll use a simple cell phone illustration. When using your phone all day your battery will die. When your battery dies, your phone is useless. The same goes with creative production. Sometimes you just have to step back and recharge your beautiful battery, called the mind. Taking a break from your pace, environment and current task at hand is key. I personally like to take my breaks by stepping out of my work atmosphere and stepping into a learning one. A workshop or career-related conference is the perfect solution. It allows me to learn, rejuvenate and remember why I love to do what I do.

How about you, what factors inspire creativity in your world?