Sometimes getting to Eureka takes serious work.
Outstanding creative thinking is based on seeing things differently to find a fresh approach. Sometimes that’s not easy. If you’ve visited our Understand page, you’ll know that our brains love patterns and habits, so sometimes we need a few tricks up our sleeves.
But how do you start? What techniques can you employ to rev up your creative engine?
If you Google ‘creativity techniques’, you’re presented with endless lists offering hundreds of methods. It can be quite bewildering. The good news is, you don’t have to sift through them all. We found that most were essentially variations on a theme and could be distilled down into five or six key categories, for example:
The way you ask the question determines the type of answers you get, so if you don’t ask the question in a thoughtful way, you’re not going to get interesting answers. Copernicus asked: “What if the Earth is not the centre of the solar system, what if the Sun is?”, giving rise to a whole new way of looking at astronomy.
As Talking Heads frontman David Byrne discovered when he visited Japan, one idea mixed with another idea forms a new idea. This means drawing on varied stimulus and often having the confidence and audacity to form unexpected connections.
Deadlines can focus your mind on creative thinking, but it can also be useful to restrict in other ways – for example Twitter’s 140 character limit forces millions of people to find creative ways of expressing things concisely every day. This is creative thinking inside the box.
You can discover the rest in our workshops. We strongly believe in learning by doing, so these energetic workshops are full to bursting with thinking challenges, games and insightful questions that will take you through the most useful techniques and give your creative muscles a thorough workout. You’ll be able to use these techniques again and again for any creative challenge you face in the future.
Contact us now to see how we can help you generate bigger and better ideas.
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Read more at the Harvard Business Review.