Cross Pollinating

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For my evening activity today I decided to do “Chilling on the Quad”, so I actually did some reading for the first time in a little. I was reading The Art of Innovation, and every time I read more of this book it just makes me start thinking of all sorts of stuff which then gets me distracted and thus I don’t actually read very much.

Today I was reading about the ideas behind “cross pollination” and I was reminded of stories my family always likes to tell about me from when I was younger.

When I was about 3, maybe even younger and continuing until I was much older, I would tell what we call “Anya jokes”. Basically I would say “What do you get when you take a _____ and a ______?” and take two completely random objects like an orange and a tree and then say a third completely unrelated object like “a car”.  Then I would say my signature line, “AH GOOD ONE!” and then elbow the person closest to me in the side.

I have no idea when, where, or why this started but this was how I told jokes for probably 4 years at least. The thing was that other people would laugh because my jokes made no sense but I would be super enthusiastic and crack myself up as well, so I thought they were actually funny.

I was reminded of this story because cross pollination in terms of innovation is all about being inspired by something seemingly unrelated to a project that then creates a great idea for the new product.

Rather than being “Anya jokes” I wonder if it would be good creativity practice to occasionally observe two seemingly random things around me and then try to think of what they would make when they combined together. It’s like justifying the thinking process of the 5 year old version of myself; it’s come full circle!!!!

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