Many new ideas come about through the connection of existing concepts.
The wine press and the coin punch were combined to form the printing press. Dyson combined the vacuum cleaner with the concept of centrifugal separation. And most significantly, the spoon and the fork have been combined to form the spork!
Try and look for [...]
When we evaluate ideas we most often begin with our own thoughts and feelings. This is the 1st person perspective. By sticking to this viewpoint it may be difficult to overcome our inbuilt beliefs and prejudices.
Actively exploring other perspectives is a simple tool to help free your mind to appreciate other possibilities. So when [...]
Appreciating the bigger picture can often be made easier by adopting the mentality of a small child and repeatedly asking ‘why’ until you have a satisfactory answer that leads you closer towards a more appropriate solution.
Asking why focuses us to really think about the reason behind our challenges.
Q- Why should I [...]
The connection between our hands and brain activity is well documented. The use of hands has been critical to human development through enabling activities such as hunting, building, crafting and many other things we take for granted these days. In fact, much of the brain’s development has occurred because of the way we have evolved [...]
New ideas and principles don’t usually have an existing frame of reference for us to ‘get’ immediately. But if we can explore the links between our novel idea and an appropriate metaphor, we can bring a whole new dimension of familiarity and understanding.
I have developed an innovation programme that emulates the stages of [...]
We sometimes get stuck in routine ways of thinking and as insignificant as it seems, the language we use can hinder our escape to fresh thinking. The words and phrases we use often give us an easy ride down our default lines of thinking. The labels of language can even conjure up preconceptions prejudices, which [...]
Dreams provide the opportunity for your subconscious to hog the stage and unleash its inner thoughts. It’s like leaving a naughty child alone for a while. They are bound to seize the chance for a bit of mischief.
Dreams often result when your subconscious is trying to make sense of your experiences during the day. [...]
Most of the time, meetings are monopolised by traditional thinking. Suggestions must be workable, sensible and logical otherwise they will be shunned and you may end up feeling foolish.
However, this approach can often mean endless cycles of tussling over right and wrong, leading to a crippling breakdown in momentum. But if everyone is prepared [...]
Are you a procrastinator? Do you often need a kick up the bum to get you going?
I admit my own motto can often be ‘don’t put off ’til tomorrow that what you can do next week’!
But when pressed to do something in a seemingly impossible time-span, you can surprise yourself by your achievements. Think [...]
I didn’t get round to putting a tip here yesterday as I got distracted by the pub!
But as it happens, the pub is a good tactic for creativity. By going to the pub or taking a bath, mowing the lawn- anything that distracts you from your problem- you put your conscious mind in a [...]
We all know this classic optimist/pessimist analogy. But once you find a way of looking at something it can be incredibly difficult to dislodge from your mindset. Creativity is about holding more than just one answer in your mind and keeping open to other possibilities.
But what would you say if you were given a [...]
Today your challenge is think like someone else. The way you see the world is coloured by your experiences and perceptions. But if you experience this world through someone else’s eyes you may get a whole new set of insights.
Example: My challenge is ‘how to cope with stressful situations’.
I randomly picked a cartoon character, a [...]
Generate new ways of achieving your solution by removing a key function and finding inventive ways of replacing it.
I experienced this recently when playing a board game in a pub but didn’t have any dice. I needed to think of another way to simulate a roll of the dice.
First have a think about [...]
Most people aren’t as creative as they could be as feel they always have to be logical and correct to find answers. But creativity is about exploring multiple alternatives and seeing where they might lead. In fact, purposely being wrong on can lead to exciting new avenues.
Example: I’m going to come up with a [...]
Placing your information/ideas/problems in a different context can introduce a new viewpoint and open up other possibilities. You may want to place something complex into a more familiar and easier to comprehend situation (explaining the workings of the human body by using the analogy of a car engine). Or perhaps you want to present something [...]
See failure as feedback and you’ll access a continual source of inspiration.
A fear of failure will only hold you back from trying anything new. That’s why you won’t find many risk averse companies in creative industries. Failure also gives some people license to make convenient excuses to give in, or worse, not bother.
Assumptions are behind everything we do. They are based on what we know or believe to be true from and our past experiences. Most of the time, we don’t consciously realise how they impact our decisions.
The question is how valid are these assumptions and can you be more creative if they are removed? List [...]
Creativity isn’t just about problem solving. Creativity is about continually exploring alternatives and making progression.
Too often innovation is stifled because people get trapped by complacency. Even successful innovators can become a victim of their own success if they hold fast to their winning idea and don’t adapt to changing conditions. If you only react [...]
Creativity requires both techniques for generating ideas and a mindset that is conducive for a positive thinking environment.
Creative thinking techniques alone will be ineffectual if you or your group isn’t mentally prepared to be different. For more on creative attitudes, read my article ‘Don’t be a Creature of Habit’
More on creative thinking [...]
Ideas come in all forms from the inspired to the down right useless. The best way to ensure you produce good ideas is to produce many ideas. That way the odds of finding the gem you’re after will increase.
If you’re looking to get more creativity from your team make sure you put as much, if not more emphasis on rewarding their creative attempts.
Just recognising and rewarding creative results acts to raise the stakes and may put people off trying in the first instance. Rewarding creative efforts will produce a more motivated and [...]
As we grow older and gain more of life’s responsibilities, we often lose parts of ourselves that allowed us to imagine, express and dream. We often dumb down our creativity as we fall deeper and deeper into the world of work and ‘serious’ adulthood.
One way to recapture some of that lost creative energy is [...]