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Creativity and Innovation with Octopus-Inspired Thinking

Using Curiosity-Based Thinking to Unlock Your Creativity and Drive Success

Using a nature-inspired approach to innovation can be a highly effective way to think differently about problems and come up with novel solutions. One way to achieve this is by looking at the most innovative animals in nature, like the octopus.


What if, by considering the characteristics of an octopus, you can gain valuable insights and take innovative actions that can be applied to whatever you do?


By putting yourself in the mindset of an octopus and its characteristics, you can gain valuable insights that can be applied to your work.


How?


The following Curiosity-Based Thinking activity is an easy and effective way to spark innovation and creativity through biomimicry-inspired curiosity. It can be done individually or in a group setting, and it is s a low-risk, high-reward method of cultivating a culture of curiosity.


Imagine if you woke up one day as an octopus, how would that change the way you approach your work?

A botanical illustration of a half human half octopus created using DALLE
A botanical illustration of a half human half octopus created using DALLE

Innovating with the help of nature is a fantastic way to uncover valuable insights into your work.


Octopuses possess a wide range of fascinating characteristics that can provide valuable insights into our work and ways to approach problem-solving.


This process is designed to help you think about innovation by considering the characteristics of an octopus and how they can be applied to your own work.


This set of questions will take you through a process of Curiosity-Based Thinking to explore the world of octopus-inspired innovation in order to pique your curiosity, inspire innovative ideas, and motivate your next meaningful action.


What if you woke up one day and were an octopus?


- What 8 things would you be excited about if you were an octopus?


- What 8 things would you be most concerned about?


- What if you had 8 arms instead of two? Describe how you would use each arm.


- What 8 characteristics of octopuses are you the most curious to learn more about?


- How would my new abilities change the way I solve problems?


- How would you overcome the underwater/out-of-water barrier between you and others?


- What if you could use your arms to communicate in a new way?


- What if, instead of becoming an octopus, you worked with an octopus?

Whether you are an educator, entrepreneur, or executive looking to cultivate a culture of curiosity within yourself or your organization, here are some ways to connect this Curiosity-Based Thinking activity directly to who you are and what you do.


Educators

Educators can use this activity to inspire curiosity in their students and help them think more creatively about the subjects they are learning. This could inspire students to think about the unique abilities of octopuses and how they could apply them to their own lives.


For example, educators can ask their students how they would learn differently as an octopus. They could also ask how specific classes like math, science, or gym would be different as an octopus.

Once students are stoked about octopuses, educators can extend the momentum by asking their students to think about what characteristics of octopuses they are most curious to learn more about and then continue the momentum by encouraging them to discover more and then share their learning.


Fostering curiosity and encouraging students to think more creatively isn't just good for student success, Curiosity-Based Thinking activities like this also assist educators in playing a more active role in their own job satisfaction and success.


Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs can use this activity to inspire creativity and innovation within their businesses.


For example, entrepreneurs could ask their team to think about what they would be excited about if they were octopuses--and which characteristics they'd be most excited to apply to their tasks in building the business.


Entrepreneurs could also modify this activity into a team-building, innovation workshop:

- Take an existing product or service and combine it with the characteristics of an octopus


- Give the product a name and


- Complete a Business Model Canvas for the new product


- Create an elevator pitch for the octopus-inspired product.


-Groups pitch their octo-products,


After everyone shares their "silly" new products, the entire team can mine through the pitches, insights, and Business Model Canvasses to cull insights to connect to your actual Business Model Canvas, products, services, and solutions.


Executives

Executives can use this activity to inspire creativity and innovation within their organization.


For example, an executive could inspire team members to think about the unique abilities of octopuses and how they could apply them to their work by asking their team to think about what they would be most excited to do today if they were an octopus.


This Curiosity-Based Thinking activity would not only inspire team members to think about the unique abilities of octopuses and how they could apply them to their businesses, but also serve as an activity to cultivate a culture of curiosity and encourage out-of-the-box thinking and innovative ideas for problem-solving.


By encouraging wonder and curiosity among their team members, an executive can foster a culture of curiosity and innovation within their organization.


Individuals

Any individual could use this activity to gain a new perspective and find inspiration for their personal life and goals.


By considering the characteristics of an octopus and putting themselves in its place, they can gain a fresh perspective on their own life and think more creatively about how they want to improve it.


For example, an individual could think about what they would be excited about if they were an octopus, and use that inspiration to set personal goals, such as developing a new skill, trying something new, or finding a new passion.


They can also think about what characteristics of octopuses they are most curious to learn more about and use that curiosity to explore new knowledge, personal growth, and self-awareness.


Individuals can also think about how they can use the octopus's ability to adapt and change to overcome challenges in their personal lives and find happiness and satisfaction.


By fostering curiosity and encouraging a growth mindset, an individual can find greater happiness and satisfaction in their personal life.


Want to keep your curiosity going and learn more about how to cultivate a culture of curiosity with Curiosity-Based Thinking?


Get a copy of the book, The Screaming Hairy Armadillo, and discover new and exciting ways to think differently and find success.


And visit What If Curiosity to learn how you or your organization can start cultivating a culture of curiosity with Curiosity-Based Thinking.



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