I love continuous learning—especially when it results in either re-igniting my passion for what I do or making me question how I do it. I find that one person does both every time I listen to him speak. This is my fan letter to Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist and host of the television program, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. He’s also highly engaging as a podcast interviewee. While telling a story about solving the Rubik’s Cube in Episode 277* of the Nerdist podcast, deGrasse Tyson makes the point that, “we, in our culture, are breeding people who care more about the answer than the path to the answer.” Then he goes on to talk about meaningful solution paths—and that people don’t care about pathways, they only care about the right answer.
I keep connecting this statement with what Ideas To Go offers clients. Our expertise—and our passion—is creative process. We (usually) define this as the pathway designed based on your objectives and needs to get you to a handful (or truckload full) of meaningful ideas, concepts and possibilities for you to explore.
While you still walk away with actionable ideas, it’s the process that got you to that point that helps keep the momentum going even after you leave. Creative process is about opening you up to all the potential possibilities, then strategically focusing on the right set to find the answer (or answers) that best meet your goals. Just handing clients one “right” answer—and not fully immersing them in the pathway and process so they are investing in all the possible solutions—is the antithesis of what we do.
In this same podcast, deGrasse Tyson also talks about the world as a “multiple choice society” where we often look at the world based on what options are currently available to us. He makes the point that there are some people (he includes himself in this set) who like to be the ones who can come up with solutions others haven’t thought of yet.
I would put our Creative Consumers® associates (CCs) in that same set of individuals. In every ideation I’ve witnessed (including those in the early 1990s when I was part of the Creative Consumers® associates as a teenager), CCs come up with vast quantities of ideas that are new yet still relevant to their everyday lives. There is no room for multiple choice ideation in our ideations rooms. When you limit yourself to only the choices you know or your team knows, you leave so many more opportunities unexplored.
With these two elements—the creative process, which leads you to hundreds of possibilities to explore, and our Creative Consumers® associates, who come up with new, relevant ideas—the field of possibilities and solutions expands exponentially. And as an astrophysicist, I think that’s something Neil deGrasse Tyson would really dig.
*contains explicit language
Liza Babcock is the Director of Operations at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.