Big Little Breakthroughs are small creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. They are the sparks that fuse into a raging fire. Sometimes microscopic and invisible to the naked eye, they are the molecules that bind together to solve our trickiest problems and unlock our biggest opportunities. Big Little Breakthroughs are the unsung heroes that, in the aggregate, drive far more progress than their elusive change-the-world counterparts.
Big Little Breakthroughs aren’t just for propeller-head inventors, fancy pants CEOs, or hoodie-donning tech billionaires. Instead, they enable every one of us to become an artist in our own way. Whether you’re old or young, a Stanford MBA or high school dropout, Big Little Breakthroughs can help you grow into the person you’re meant to become, in the same way they enabled Trewin to realize his vision.
The Eight Obsessions of Everyday Innovators
How do innovators—of all shapes and sizes—think and act? How can we all enjoy a meaningful Creativity Upgrade , elevating our performance in both business and life? What should we do to build creative capacity and discover an abundance of Big Little Breakthroughs ?
#1. Fall in love with the problem.
Rather than prematurely landing on a specific solution, this means taking the time to carefully examine and understand the challenge at hand. It means being more committed to solving the problem than to a particular manner of solving it and remaining flexible and open-minded in order to find the optimal approach.
#2. Start before you’re ready.
Everyday innovators take the initiative to get started now instead of waiting for permission, detailed instructions, or ideal conditions. They are willing to course-correct along the way, adapt to changing circumstances in real time, and operate with agility.
#3. Open a test kitchen.
Innovation is both strengthened and de-risked through experimentation. By building a framework and conditions for testing and creative exploration, ideas are cultivated and optimized.
#4. Break it to fix it.
Ditching the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” advice of the past, everyday innovators proactively deconstruct, examine, and rebuild to deliver superior products, systems, processes, and works of art.
#5. Reach for weird.
Preferring the unexpected approaches to the obvious ones, everyday innovators challenge conventional wisdom by searching for unorthodox ideas. They have a penchant for discovering oddball, sometimes even bizarre ideas in order to discover better outcomes.
#6. Use every drop of toothpaste.
Consider this a scrappy approach of doing more with less. Counterintuitively, being resource-constrained can fuel creative breakthroughs. Resourcefulness and ingenuity become powerful weapons in the fight for superior innovation.
#7. Don’t forget the dinner mint.
Adding small, creative flourishes can yield significantly improved results. An extra dose of surprise and delight enables new invention, competitive victory, and individual achievement.
#8. Fall seven times, stand eight. Realizing that setbacks are inevitable, everyday innovators use creative resilience to overcome adversity. Mistakes are a natural and important part of the innovation process and can be flipped into advantages when studied and embraced.
As you gear up to take your shot, remember that even the most world-changing innovations are nothing more than a collage of tiny creative acts. Your most successful path forward isn’t taking gigantic, wild swings but rather to cultivate small, daily shots of creativity that coalesce into meaningful results. When we build the habit and develop our skills, our shots become less risky and more impactful.