Tips for Sparking Inspiration

Next week, check out The Future of Everything Festival hosted by the Wall Street Journal. Here are inspiration tips from thought leaders who are participating.

Rafael Ilishayev is the co-CEO of Gopuff , a rapid home-delivery company now in over 1,000 cities. For inspiration,

Listen to workers in the field. The person who will have the best ideas to solve a problem is the person “interacting with that problem day in and day out.” Your managers and engineers have great ideas, too, but usually the best ideas come from the field.

Christina Tosi is the CEO of Milk Bar, a bakery and dessert restaurant chain. For inspiration,

Try to get at the inner emotions of people around you. Tosi asks people for “their dirty dessert secret,” which is the thing you eat when no one else is around. Or sometimes, it’s something you share only with a special person, like a sister or best friend.

Maverick Carter is the CEO of SpringHill, a streaming entertainment firm. His advice is

Connect with people. Keep a few people in mind that you can call on for inspiration–smart people who have traveled the world and have a broad range of experiences.

Peggy Johnson is CEO of Magic Leap, maker of augmented reality goggles.

Exercise! Go out for a morning run. Especially if you face something challenging later that day. That’s the time you get ideas, when your mind is freed up.

TS Anil, CEO of Monzo online bank, puts together connection and exercise:

Go for a walk with someone else. You’ll have better conversations than if you’re just sitting across from them. So just ask: “Would you like to go for a walk?”

Diane von Furstenberg, the legendary fashion designer, says:

Go into nature for inspiration. The two things that inspire her the most are nature–and, of course, the women she designs for.

5 thoughts on “Tips for Sparking Inspiration

  1. So, much of all this refers to the degree to which individuals are prepared to be ‘naked’ with and within the group. One of the ways to reach this stage is to experience activities together that make you laugh at yourself and others, AT THE SAME TIME. Then, the group can better contain individuals who risk flopping or making errors without judgement from others. One of the biggest obstacles to group creativity is individual fear of censure or dismissal from others in the group.

    1. Yes. Humor is key. In terms of group or collective creativity, one major ingredient for releasing creativity potential are lots of moments with laughing at oneself and the group at the same time. This is certainly true for collective theatre and music – especially improvised music. And much else. Corporations should find their humor to thrive.

  2. I like that–laughing at the group. Everyone laughing together communicates that they share the understanding that something they’ve done together surprised them in a delightful way

    1. Yes. The trick is for individuals in the group to laugh at themselves, at the same time as laughing at each other. Not always easy to achieve.

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