Seven Ways to Block Light Bulb Moments

Before we explore how to generate light bulb moments and make them happen in your business, it is worth finding out what stops them from occurring in the first place.

In my experience, it is the culture of a business that is the key enabler here. Get it right and then creativity flows in all aspects of the business. Get it wrong and you end up with disaffected employees, staff churn, unhappy customers and a problem with the bottom line.

These are seven ways to run a business such light bulb moments are stopped in their tracks. I am sure you will have experienced one or more of these mechanisms somewhere you have worked. They are often the tactics used by inexperienced or naive managers with the aim of controlling a work force.

1. Instil a lack of security

Nobody whose job is under threat feels like being creative. This is a bit of shame as when a company’s back is against the financial wall, innovative thinking is often just what is needed.

2. Breed a climate of fear

Fear of failure and fear of ridicule are an anathema to creativity. If you come into work and are afraid of suggesting new ideas or, god forbid, that something is less than perfect, any light bulb moments you receive will never materialise.

3. Take love out of the equation

People love to love and love to be loved. We like it when someone likes us and likes what we do. Love is a word that somehow doesn’t get mentioned in business. When you love the work you though, you will never ‘work’ again.

4. Fail to communicate

Communication works two ways in successful businesses. There is a flow from the top down and the bottom up. It is the responsibility of management to get the conversations going. People like to talk and if you don’t give them something positive to talk about, the conversations will turn to gossip and back-biting.

5. Lack of vision

You would never think of driving a car blindfolded, or blindfold your passengers, yet many businesses don’t see where they are going. We need visibility to function and this vision gives perspective. We can watch for pot holes ahead and also learn from looking at where we’ve been. With this clarity, we can be inventive of about planning the route ahead.

6. Quash free thinking

As human beings, we are only able to hold one thought at any one instant. If that thought is spent rehearsing a conversation yet to be had or replaying one that didn’t go so well, our brains are tied up with internal dialogue. A still and quiet mind is a creative one and thrives when given a challenge and an opportunity in a supportive and appreciative environment.

7. Be a killjoy

This is not about dress down Fridays or Paint Ball days. It is obvious that a happy worker is a productive worker. Apparently it takes less muscular effort to smile than it does to frown. Fun places to work become sought after and hard to leave. So simply start the day with a smile …

In summary, if you build a business based on these principles, you will always struggle. Do the opposite and you will create the climate for ideas to flow freely which, in turn, lays down the foundations for success

Related Posts:

The Business of Light Bulb Moments
Light Bulb Moment on Demand service
Seven Ways to Encourage Light Bulb Moments
The Art and Science of Creativity Workshop

Creativity Blocks #001: Fear of Ridicule

There are many blocks to being in your creative flow.

Here are just some of the things that stop us in our tracks:

– these are of course all subjective perceptions and can be dealt with and removed relatively easily.
In this series of short blogs, I’ll explain a little about why and how these issues manifest and give some simple tips to get around them.

The Fear of Ridicule

This is really common. The best way to avoid being ridiculed for your creative output is not to generate anything at all. Our unconscious minds protect us from harm by inventing loads of ways for us to avoid being ridiculed.

Signs that this is happening in your life are:

  • Procrastination
  • Being a busy fool
  • Loads of half written manuscripts, unfinished sketches or musical samples

A classic trigger for this might be a teacher marking down an essay you wrote at school or you forgetting your lines in a school play. I did this in a nativity play and got demoted from Jesus to an innkeeper and then from an innkeeper to an angel without wings on the back row of the chorus.

As a knock on result, I used to have a repetitive dream of freezing as the lead guitarist on stage when playing with Pink Floyd or The Who. Since I eventually played a solo classic guitar piece at a local arts centre, the dream has not returned. When I released the audio version of my first book, I allowed that classical guitarist to come out to play.


Putting Your Head Above the Parapet

The simple way around this fear is to start creating and ‘publishing’ small bits of work and discovering that you don’t get shot down in flames.

The good news is there are loads of really good, free and supportive places online to do this.

For writers:

Your blog

Tweet a story or sample chapters on the brilliant Twimagination

Or submit your whole story to somewhere like Authonomy

Or throw all caution to the wind and just publish on Kindle Direct Publishing

I did this for my proto-novel Soulwave and the first reviews have encouraged me to dust it off and finish it …

For musicians:

Publish samples on Soundcloud

or AudioBoo – I love showcasing talented (yet shy) musicians on The Zone Show

or of course YouTube – see this Mashable blog on artists picked up on YouTube

For artists:

Post your material to TwitPic

or artist communities like the appropriately named FoundMySelf

or why not sell your art using sites like ImageKind ?

So, in summary, there has never been a better time to flex your creative muscles … so get creating and posting, you never know who might spot your nascent talent …
P.S. some of these links are blatantly self-promotional – please add your examples below and links to any sites you use !!
P.P.S. For cases of deep trauma though, these techniques might not work so do get in touch as this is what I specialise in dealing with.