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Happy National Swap Ideas Day

September 10 is National Swap Ideas Day, a day to embrace and encourage creative collaboration and new, innovative perspectives. I find the team brainstorming process to be an effective and powerful tool to develop concepts and solve problems. So, to celebrate, here are some of my tips for fostering a healthy, creative environment.

Enhance your workspace

Evidence suggests that a dynamic, enriched work environment can contribute to the development of neural connections in the brain. For this reason, I believe your workspace is an integral part of your process. That’s why we went to great lengths to construct the imaginative world of Inventionland for our creationeers, recently named one of Pittsburgh’s coolest offices by the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Start a dialogue

Feedback is critical to the development of an idea. Your own perspective is limited, so the contribution of a diverse team of thinkers is invaluable. Don’t be hesitant to expose your ideas to criticism—this is an important part of innovation. Improvement is key.

Feed your creativity

Don’t be reluctant to bring your ideas to the table. As long as I can remember, I’ve always approached things differently than most people. Don’t be discouraged if your imagination takes you to strange places. Thinking outside of the box is a precious skill that will give you edge over your competitors.

Give it a rest

Don’t exhaust yourself. If you find that you’re at a creative standstill, let your idea simmer. Stepping away from a project allows you to approach it again with a fresh perspective and a more developed understanding of your goal. Your mind will continue to work out inherent problems while you focus on other things. If you still can’t move forward on a project, remember that sometimes, creativity leads you to dead ends. Collect what you’ve learned from the idea—what works and what doesn’t—and bring it to a new brainstorm.

Nurture your idea and take care of your creative brain. Everything starts with an idea.

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