industry thoughts from Clarteza

29 January
Mag Retelewski

A Positive Open Mind: The Key to Innovation and Growth

“The hallmark of an open mind is separating your ideas from your identity.
If you define yourself by your opinions, questioning them is a threat to your integrity. If you see yourself as a curious person or a lifelong learner, changing your mind is a moment of growth”
– Adam Grant

Having an open mind is essential for innovation. This openness, coupled with a positive outlook, enhances your ability to perceive and observe a broader range of ideas and phenomena. It involves welcoming contrasting viewpoints and nurturing a curiosity that is strong enough to potentially change your perspective.

The Broaden-and-Build theory provides insight into this concept. It suggests that positive and negative emotions each play distinct, complementary roles in our adaptive functions, influencing our cognitive and physiological responses differently.

According to this theory, negative emotions tend to narrow our immediate range of thoughts and actions, priming us for specific responses – like aggression or fleeing in fear.

Conversely, positive emotions such as joy, contentment, and interest serve to expand our thought-action repertoire. This expansion not only increases the variety of cognitions and behaviors that come to mind but also fosters the development of an individual’s physical, intellectual, and social resources.

Therefore, combining an open mind with positive, uplifting emotions can significantly enhance your ability to discern more solutions to potential problems. This synergy is a key factor in divergent thinking, an essential component of creative problem-solving and ultimately, innovation.

Idea generation