I’ve just released a free creative thinking course to the world. Yeeeha!
Oh so you don’t quite share my excitement?
Well perhaps if I explain why you need creativity?
There’s so much information out there, with so many supposed experts and ‘gurus’ pedalling their [...]
What’s the most productive and fun way to come up with the best ideas from a brainstorming session?
Ideas Poker of course!
Ideas Poker works on the basis that truly great ideas form when the best bits of individual ideas are combined. Essentially, you can harness the entire group’s intelligence rather [...]
How great would it be to think like a genius? Hmm, but just ponder that for a second…
I already have enough to do without having to solve advanced maths problems, recite obscure historical facts and I have absolutely no intention of appearing on Mastermind any time soon. Not to mention my strong desire to avoid [...]
Today we’re changing the scales to make a regular situation seem funny and harnessing new insights for creative ideas on the Funny Business challenge of ‘making training more memorable’.
A classic example of changing the scales comes from the sitcom Red Dwarf in the episode ‘Backwards’. Rimmer is administering a Starbug driving test for Kryten [...]
This is how overstatement works:
Take a situation, ideally one that’s loaded with a bit of tension. Find the logical response. What would you normally expect to happen? Do the opposite. Make the response unexpected and irrational. Exaggerate to make [...]
Ordinarily the ministry of silly walks would be a totally absurd government department (not wanting to open up a can of worms by using government and absurd in the same sentence!). But in this sequence, [...]
Today there’s some satirical funny business. With satire, the weapon is irony; pretend to accept reasoning in order to expose the absurdity. And to up the comic ante, you can really exaggerate the defunct aspects.
Here’s the blueprint:
Find an aspect of your challenge that you disagree with or think is obsolete. There may [...]
Exaggeration takes the familiar then dashes our expectations by serving up a larger-than-life perspective. A classic and very visual example is the caricature. A [...]
Here we’re going in with a slightly different slant and looking at how role reversal can lead to new and creative ideas.
Role reversal is a long-standing [...]
Turning something on its head to see the reverse viewpoint is the 1st humour technique in the Funny Business series. With reversal, humour comes from a surprise twist, diverting our thoughts away from the expected logic.
Here’s a silly little joke that demonstrates this example: What’s the stupidest animal in the jungle? The polar [...]
Humour is often the key to delivering a jolt that knocks habitual thinking off course and onto a new journey of discovery. If you can learn how to harness humour and [...]
Inspired by the website www.animalsontheunderground.com the object is to join up stations and underground routes to create animal shapes. This is a very playful activity but certainly gets the brain whirring away looking for new patterns. And we’re not [...]
So you’ve tried over and over to develop your ideas in your head. You may have even try to mentally visualise what your solution looks like. But if we go through the same processes in our head, we can sometimes become a victim of routined thinking and end up getting stuck!
This is where [...]
Necessity is the mother of invention. But do you really want to have all your ideas when you’re up against it?! We are equally able to produce great ideas when we are in a relaxed and happy state of mind. We can achieve this through being playful and maybe even recapturing some of our youthful [...]
The more information we have to draw upon, the more we are able to access new possibilities. If we stay stuck in a narrow minded world, when the time comes to solve challenges and explore new opportunities, our frame of reference is prohibitively restricting. It’s tough coming up new solutions using the same old information [...]
Looking at the opposite is a great way for reversing your perspective and provoking new solutions. There are many examples where a reverse viewpoint has led to a new solution:
Internet shopping comes to you instead of you going to the shop. Bashing the bottom of a ketchup bottle will only send the sauce to [...]
Sometimes, you just don’t feel creative. Everything seems to be more of a struggle than usual. Today is working out as one of those days for me.
My advice is not to fight it. Just accept that’s part of being human and look forward to tomorrow when you’ll have a fresh start!
To try and [...]
Yes it’s a classic. If you find a way of doing something that works, why bother going to the effort to change it? However, ways soon become outdated and there’s a slim chance of discovering new & better ways if you stay in your state of adequate bliss.
Here are a couple of examples of [...]
I’m sure we’re all very familiar with brainstorming. Get a bunch of people in a room and spurt out ideas until you find a new solution right?
But brainstorming seems to have become a throw away term in business and at worst becomes just another lackluster process for the meeting agenda. Unfortunately this means idea generation often gets conducted [...]
You wouldn’t skip a body warm up before a sports match, so why skip a mind warm up before thinking? A creative thinking warm up will loosen up your mind and get those synapses firing. It sounds simple but try it. It really will help improve the flexibility of your thought when working on [...]
The essence of creativity is doing something differently in a way that brings you joy.
Pure creative activities should bring you joy by their very nature… unless like me you try to smash your guitar in a violent rage when you can’t hit all the chords. But what about adding creativity to other less inspirational [...]
I was recently asked why children are so creative. After all, we’re still the same people we used to be. Why does our natural creativity disappear?
Well as kids, we don’t have any real pressures in life. There is no perceived need to be logical, sensible and always right (a skill that seems to develop [...]
Have you ever got so stuck in working away on a solution that you want to make it work whatever it takes? We can quite easily build up an emotional attachment to our ideas and this can be unhealthy. You just need to look at some of the people on Dragon’s Den who think their [...]
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 [...]
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