How the solution to your biggest business challenges might be a squiggle away – Camila Kaul
Camila Kaul is a passionate thought leader focused on digital consulting through insights and storytelling to create breakthrough, innovative digital strategies for companies. She is the head of Strategy and Sales Development for Google. She is also the founder of Just as Squiggle.
As one of the keynote speakers at the B2B Binge event, she focused on how a problem-solving mindset can solve the organizations’ most significant problems more thoroughly. She goes on to say that 35% of the skills are obsolete. If people do not upgrade their skills and get creative, more are likely to lose jobs or modes of earning.
Creativity is the most critical skill that can hold on its own. Creative people can thrive and flourish under challenging conditions. Creative thinking comes from practicing small steps of creativity and being open to ideas.
Unlearning and relearning becomes a vital part of the creative process. As people age, they lose the creative edge. The key reason behind it is acquiring a restrictive mindset and having conflicting thoughts before taking any action. It makes them risk-averse and prevents them from taking up challenges.
How do you decide which challenge to take up or face?
Before facing or taking up any challenging task, we usually ask the following questions and don’t take it up. They are:
1. What if we do something weird?
2. What if we exaggerate the rules?
3. What is the opposite of the rule?
Creative thinking comes from recording various ideas and testing them. Once you start trying ideas, you can come up with even better ideas. The most effective ideas become part of the value creation process, and the failed ideas are part of the learning process.
She answers the questions like: –
1. How can you improve or imbibe problem-solving skills?
2. What is ingenuity? How can you cultivate it in the organization?
There are many similar questions that Camila answered and showed how an organization could not only use creativity but also nurture it for hyper-growth. Providing enough challenges and not discrediting the failures are one of the critical ingredients of fostering creativity. Negating failures and not providing enough encouragement for experimentation can stunt the growth of a creative mindset.
Organizations have to break down the walls of the restrictive thought process slowly and steadily. The restrictive thought process results from years of upbringing in a restrictive environment and education system that rarely promotes experimentation and celebrates failure. People and organizations have to understand that success results from not one successful event but knowing what works after failing many times and not giving up. Therefore, failure holds a higher value than success. So, loss needs to be celebrated as much as success.
AMA with Camila Kaul
Q- How does psychology aid in overcoming challenges?
A- When we think about challenges, we think about things we’ve always thought before a challenge. It is just your brain going into the vault of experiences and saying this sounds like a challenge from the past. So when we’re trying to think about creative thinking alternatives, we’re trying to block it and saying forget about that. Whatever was in the past, it is done. The brain, while dealing with any other type of things, help us put like a blank slate, so we stopped thinking, so we stop putting experiences at the center of what we’ve done. It revolutionized our way of thinking. So one way of overcoming challenges is provoking our brains with new things.
Q- How do I keep my team on a creative edge consistently?
A- So with that in mind, for example, you might be doing planning for 2021 right now. You might be thinking I have a new challenge in front of me. A new year ahead of me, what do I do? One of the greatest creative moments of the year is planning. So next time you’re doing planning with your team, think about how do you start provoking their brains. How do you bring, for example, a creative session or a brainstorming session as you kick off that process? A lot of the time, when we think about brainstorming, we go into a room. We have a blank slate in front of us. We hope people start putting ideas, and something magical will happen. The reality is that brainstorming works if we have a good process in place for brainstorming. But there are three things that you have to think about brainstorming
o The number one is it has to be a safe space. It has to allow for all the ideas to be okay. So signaling to your team the next hour everything goes, everything counts. There are no bad ideas here. We’re just expensive at this point. So it’s very important that everyone feels safe.
o The second thing is very important, as well. It is just to pro to give them a provocation. If you give them a blank wall and you expect them to come up with ideas. Their brains are not going to work like that. So you have to provoke them, you can utilize a couple of impact questions. You can give them a situation and then start thinking about what we do around these situations.
o The third point is that your brain works in two different ways. When you’re in a collective space, and you want to kind of put all the ideas out there. But sometimes your brain needs a little bit of time to go in into its groove. Just think for a second, so when you’re doing brainstorming, allow time for your team to write their notes. Write their ideas on their own and then provide the space for all of them to share. so that’s just a good moment for practicing creative thinking
Q- “I choose a lazy person to do the hard job because a lazy person will find the easy way of doing it,” said Bill Gates. How true has it been for a problem solver like you?
A- I think it’s about a mindset. Suppose you are putting the right mindset in front of people. If you’re creating this atmosphere about we’re here to innovate, create, do things differently then people independently of how they behave in the past, they might be willing and open to doing things. As the manager of a team as the leader for a session, you have to make sure the most important thing is that you’re creating the right conditions for everyone to succeed and for all ideas to come out. It’s what we call the diversity of thought. It’s great to have diversity in our rooms, but it does not only face diversity. It’s about top diversity, and for it to be useful for all of us, we have to create the right atmosphere to evolve.
Q- How do you define ingenuity? How can you cultivate it within an organization?
A- I love the concept of ingenuity because it’s going back to all five years old. Remember that I told you that those five-year-olds were creative geniuses. There is a little bit of ingenuity. Their brains are not wired. They’re not filled with many experiences and much baggage like ours. Creative thinking is on tapping into your five-year-old brain is creating ways for your brain to think like we did when we were five-year-old. A lot of the creative thinking processes involve having fun activities, colors, markers because we’re trying to tap into our brains energies and potential that we had when we were kids. That comes with the ingenuity. So if you’re thinking about how to do, we put it in practice for our businesses. We need to tap into our five-year-olds, and the way we do that again is provoking your brain. There are so many techniques to do that. But the point is we need to make sure that our brains are not wired into the typical well. If it hasn’t broken, don’t fix it, or we’ve always done it this way. Imagine what would have happened with, for example, apple if they’ve thought about leaving computers the way that it will always be, so that’s the way that we have to think about innovation.
Q- What is the best way to test new ideas into pilot tests before we take them to the market? Can we start with the internal team?
A- Testing and iterating is the base of creativity and creative thinking. One of the processes that we use, for example, is design thinking. Design thinking is one of the many methods that you can use. But one of the major or more important pieces of that is testing. Prototyping the first thing is when you have an idea, and you’re ready to test it. The first thing is to create a prototype. Something that makes it a little bit more tangible because what you want to do with that is test it up in a couple of safe environments before you test it out in the market. A prototype doesn’t have to be something fancy it could be something as simple as a video. It could be something like an interview that you do with someone or a sketch. The point of being simple is that it allows you to get feedback from your possible client or your possible group of people. So as much as you can do that and repeat that process. You’re always going to force the brain process to be iterative. So that means you can always change, evolve, and make it better. So it is crucial that any process, any product, any service that you’re thinking and put out their prototype it and test before you launch.
Q- The whole team is staying focused to solve a problem and taking off your mind of the challenge then to arrive at a solution. How do you balance it?
A- That happens because our brains have two different types of waves, alphas, and betas and what that means is when we’re in a state in which we’re super focused. For example, when we’re like in focus mode in our work, we can only see what’s in front of us. The current challenge when we’re in an alpha mode like, for example, we’re in the shower, and we’re taking a bath, and we’re driving. Our brains are not focused on one specific thing. They’re just wondering. Those are the specific moments where ideas come. So think about it when you’re like probably in the shower, that is like I have the biggest idea in the world. That’s because your brain is in an alpha state, so what we’re trying to do with creative thinking techniques is to get your brain into that alpha mode. So when you’re trying to do that in your team. One of the easiest ways to do them is to get them out of your normal conference room. A conference room is created to get you into like that beta wave-like be proactive do work. But for us to be able to innovate. Think thoughts we’ve never thought before. Have to get out of there, so think about where you can take your team meeting. Next time that is not in a board room take it in a park. Do a walking meeting anything that takes you out of your comfort zone, and that will allow your brain to spark different ideas.
Q- How do you handle management that says that they are open to creativity, but they don’t ever take any creative actions? How do you talk to them, how do you convince them?
A- It all starts with influencing for sure. So when you’re thinking about a creative moment, whether it’s you’re planning right now, or you’re trying to come up with a new idea involving senior management from the beginning. It is very important to make sure that they’re part of the process. It makes it much easier. One of those is number one. Number two is well. You might be pitching the idea, and they may be like I don’t know” one important thing to keep in mind is you do not promise anything at this point. You’re just telling them we have a problem. I know that we can get possibilities, but we need your help and support to make it happen—the signal from the beginning, what is that you need them to do. For x thing to happen, so if this is a problem and here’s the promise that I’m telling you, I’m going to provide you the things you need for the process. So it’s a journey it’s not easy sometimes, but as much as you can channel. Bringing people along from the beginning and making them a champion of the process is going to make things easier.