Pause for a moment and remember the last time you gave a big presentation, took on a new task or entered a room full of people you didn’t know. Chances are you felt nervous, anxious, maybe had a ball in the pit of your stomach - basically uncomfortable. Although unpleasant in the moment, that feeling of discomfort is often a sign of impending growth – it precedes the opening of a new door, new skill or new opportunities.

When it comes to innovation, some of the best ideas come from pushing to the edge – getting to the idea that looks a little crazy on the wall or on the page. It’s in the that space of discomfort, but before panic, that we can open up and think about the “what if’s”. To look creatively at an old problem with a new lens, let go of the past and known facts of your current reality to move to what could be, what is the desired state.

As part of our concept building process, we take the time to ask ourselves: What would crazy look like in this space? How could we push the boundaries of what is expected in the category? Where would we want to go if there were no constraints? What make us feel uncomfortable? The beauty of fast paced, entrepreneurial inspired innovation is that you can build out the crazy ideas and see what happens with little risk and lots of potential upside. Once in front of consumers we can build on what resonates and take away what distracts until we have a strong and differentiated new idea.

If you are part of an innovation team tasked with coming up with disruptive growth ideas, learning to recognize your internal signs of “uncomfortable” can help you hone in on creating and identifying powerful ideas. The ones that stand a chance of disrupting a category or capturing the shopper’s short attention span in-store. To get there, you and your team need to find ways to break out of your comfort zone, step away from the truths you know and push each other to discuss ideas that feel risk-ier, more audacious or simply a little crazy – keeping an eye out for the ones that give you that tell-tale “ball in the pit of your stomach” feel.

Interested… I’d love to tell you more about how Mission Field can help you create disruptive ideations sessions and drive innovation.