We enjoy watching the TV show American Inventor. During a recent episode, my son observed that the most successful ideas are not all that revolutionary. Rather, they are improvements to an existing product or idea, or a new way to combine ideas.
The winner of this year’s contest is a product called “The Guardian Angel,” which combines the venerable Christmas tree topper with a modified sprinkler system. Firefighter Greg Chavez invented this product to protect families from Christmas tree fires.
Sometimes we try to dig too deep, when the next great idea or invention is staring us in the face. Perhaps creativity is not so much about searching for ideas, but paying closer attention to the ideas that are already at our fingertips. Or, as someone once said…
“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”