What’s happening this week in Montreal? The fourth annual C2-MTL, a creativity and commerce conference that is the highlight of the business conference circuit.

This is the fourth time that I’m attending and I would like to once again congratulate the C2-MTL team and Sid Lee, who continue to push and reinvent the concept every year.

In previous editions, this conference has introduced us to leaders from the new economy, including Tony Hsieh from Zappos, as well as veterans like Michael Eisner and Francis Ford Coppola. This year, on the first day, the speaker who made the greatest impact was undoubtedly David Rose from the MIT Media Lab.

He presented an overview of innovation and shared observations made during his research by letting us tour his hyper-connected home. Using an “enchanted chart”, Rose demonstrated all the different technologically inspired objects that can enhance our everyday lives: http://enchantedobjects.com.

A connected umbrella with a L.E.D. bulb that tells you whether it’s going to rain today. A coffee table that lets you travel with Google Earth. A small camera that clips to your shirt and automatically captures moments throughout your day (great for making memories, but also useful for research marketing professionals).

Of course, the reality for most businesses is very different; many companies in North America are still working on updating their website, while others are only just making the leap into social media.

But innovation is, above all, a state of mind. Here’s an exercise that I recommend you try: the next time you have a quiet moment, look around you and imagine what objects would change your life if they existed. Don’t think about whether they are possible. Simply project your imagination into a science-fiction frame of mind.

Just like we see in movies for kids or in movies with a very high level of creativity, you can train your brain to think more innovatively. Who knows the impact this kind of thinking could have on your business!

Jean-François Bouchard repeated this message on day two: Keeping the status quo in business is risky, it’s crucial to constantly innovate and evolve.

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