Like speed reading, it’s a skill. In the Monday night waltz lab, we have 2 minute chunks in which to innovate a new variation. If you’ve seen the first post, you can probably imagine that it takes more than a minute or two to come up with a “final product” variation.
But the part I wasn’t thinking about when I started that post, I said at the end of it. Every step is an innovation. Being able to adapt one little thing, to modify one little thing, is a successful innovation. Even if the result of the change is less… satisfying (a post of it’s own) than the original. It’s like the old adage, reputedly from Thomas Edison: “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.” The idea being that it doesn’t have to be successful to not be a waste of time.
And that is the hard part I think. Innovating is a form of brainstorming within an existing framework. New possibilities, new directions, new focuses. It’s a skill that can be learned. But getting over the need to be “right”; to be “successful” is critical-otherwise you will always be limiting your own ability to innovate.
But it gets easier with practice. I promise. Check the waltz lab out (waltzlab.com). Innovate a variation; even if you don’t submit it this week. And don’t be afraid of coming up with a variation that someone else thought of first, or one that doesn’t feel all that different. Not every variation has to be earth shattering. After all, sometimes the quiet ones are the best. The simple ones, that everyone can learn and remember, are more likely to persist. Do it anyway; and do it again next week. Keep doing it, until it occurs to you that you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by submitting. Put yourself, and your ideas out there-join the conversation.