Come up with silly ideas. They are a great starting point for new solutions. All you need to do is extract the concepts and themes and bring them back to a greater degree of reality.
Example: How to make your journey to work more enjoyable.
My silly idea is to commute by rollercoaster. Personally I’d love [...]
We’re usually so quick to jump in with reasons why ideas won’t work. But next time, resist this urge and task yourself with first exhausting all the positives you can think of. You may even generate some new, better solutions.
Example: What are all the positives of a house with no roof?
We’d usually immediately [...]
Just because you have a solution, it doesn’t mean you have the best one. Try to at least find one other approach before being satisfied.
I find thoughts suddenly begin to flood to me whenever I go for a walk or run.
There’s something about constantly moving that opens up new connections in the brain. Also, being out in the air in a different environment definitely has a part to play in this added stimulation.
So next time you’re struggling [...]
Whether you believe you are creative or not, you are right! Take creative agencies; they are full of knickknacks that constantly reaffirm their employees’ creative beliefs. If your office is somewhat on the bland side, there’s nothing stopping you furnishing your mind with the proverbial pool tables, desk toys and amusing wall doodles.
Visualise a time when you were at your happiest and most creative. Bring the sensory experience to life in your mind and anchor those strong feelings in order to recall them when you need a burst of inspiration. You recall Pavlov’s dog from school biology lessons right? Ring the bell in your mind when you [...]
A large part of being creative is the ability to look at things in different contexts. A fun way to practice this is to find an everyday object and ask yourself what else could it be.
Pick out the functions, features and associations and use these to transplant the meaning. Be imaginative as possible.
Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is free your mind and start writing down ideas. A really simple fix to generate movement and help your thoughts flow more freely is to just start writing.
Think of the first thing that comes into your head or take inspiration from what you see around you. Then [...]
The royal courts used to employ jesters to ensure their thinking didn’t just succumb to the ‘yes men’. Their role was to be purposefully provocative to ensure decisions were appreciated from other perspectives and embarrassments were averted.
So play the role of the court jester by laughing at your ideas and kick yourself out of [...]
It can be possible to get trapped within the thought boundaries of your particular industry and job role. Restricting yourself to only immediately relevant knowledge can limit the potential to find novel ideas.
Look to other industries and see if there are analogous solutions that can be applied to your challenge. Quite often, concepts and [...]
Creative thinking is about generating alternatives. Quite often, if we find a potential solution we stop and pursue it. Who knows what we’re missing by not carrying on?
So next time you’re thinking up ideas, set yourself a challenging quota. They don’t all have to be winners, just give yourself the license to explore.
Have you ever experienced that moment when you come up with an idea but then gradually find more and more flaws before eventually turning yourself completely against your initial idea?
It’s quite common and we habitually do this as a safeguard to prevent embarrassment in front of others who may be just as quick to [...]
A great way of convincing others about the potential of your ideas is to find the product of the product. Don’t stop at just explaining the logical solution, go on to spell out further benefits that trigger a response on more emotional level.
Example: the product of a new camera is not the photo definition [...]
Reframe your challenge statement in all the ways you can think of. Change words and drop common labels to move your thinking beyond ingrained associations and promote more open exploration. This may even bring you closer to a solution.
Example: ‘How to stop losing my keys’ might become, ‘how to easily find my keys’, ‘how [...]