A Publication of WTVP

Many difficulties are blank canvases awaiting innovative answers.

Imagination is the difference between the problems plaguing our every day and the future solutions to those issues; imagination is step one for answers that work.

Imagine that you could work on an app that better informs financial decisions to help users get out of debt; imagine working with technology that helps patients and doctors better manage illness and health; imagine being stuck in the rain with a crappy umbrella and allow the experience to spark the curiosity that leads to a better design – these problems are amazing!

Problems are amazing because of the innovative and creative solutions that often follow. There are so many big, juicy problems out there that remain blank canvases just waiting for the answers to improve the quality of life for us all.

The problem that often hobbles problem-solving, however, is the “I can’t” mindset, which we all suffer to a greater or lesser extent. It’s the hurdle separating problem recognition and imagination. But if we can get past “I can’t,” we enable wonder, curiosity, creativity and, sometimes, groundbreaking innovation.

How do we overcome the “I can’t” mindset? Here is a brief summary of my creative- and innovation-enabling process for individuals and teams.

By now, “I can’t” looks pretty ridiculous and unnecessary. This is a lesson that not only yields creative solutions for one problem, but a general principle with which to address all problems … or, rather, opportunities. iBi

Mona Patel is the CEO and Founder of Motivate Design, a New York City design agency, and author of Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate and Think. For more information, visit