The most effective creativity techniques for getting fresh ideas

Creativity is about turning imagination into value. Ignite your imagination and enrich your creative thinking toolbox by applying these simple and effective creativity techniques.

reversed_brainstorming_creativity_techiqueReverse brainstorming – how not to solve the problem

Tired of doing routine brainstorms on “how to get more clients” or “how to get more sales” etc? Turn it around and brainstorm on how to make the problem even worse and after that turn the ideas around again – stating them in positive.

  1. Define your problem.
  2. Reverse your problem.
  3. Brainstorm ideas for the reversed problem – be bold and provocative. Get as many ideas as possible.
  4. Reverse those problems, turning them into ideas for your initial problem.
  5. Take massive action and get results.

Example:

 “How to create trainings that are really boring?” – reversed problem How to create exciting trainings?” –  ideas for initial problem
Lets make people stand still, silent and with their hands tied together. Let people move around in the room freely, get them to communicate with each-other lively and let them do stuff with their hands (moulding, writing, drawing…).
Lets show them irrelevant slides filled with text on law paragraphs. Lets turn off the projector, focus only on the most relevant content and use flip-chart to make cool drawings to help people to memorize the content with symbols only.

 

Interesting side-effects: by stating ways how not to solve the problem you often develop a deeper understanding of things you are actually doing wrong at the moment. Having them written down and finding ways to turn it around makes you more motivated for positive change.

superheroes_creativity_techiqueSuperheroes technique – borrowed brains

Don´t just use all the brains you have – also use all the brains you can borrow. Map your superheroes – people you admire – and get ready to rock´n roll!

  1. Define your problem.
  2. Brainstorm 10-50 superheroes – people who are better than you in some specific domain. Take a note on each superhero´s unique skill.
  3. Ask yourself “How would x solve this problem?” or “What can I learn from x to solve this problem?” or “What has x done that could also work for me?” etc. Take notes on ideas that come to your mind.
  4. Select the most interesting ideas and find ways in which you can adopt them to your current situation to solve this problem.
  5. Take massive action and get results.

This technique is very similar to benchmarking, where the leading “superheros” can be your competitors. Turn your rivals into your superheros – use their brains and ideas to ignite your progress. Shift this paradigm and get results.

forced_connections_creativity_techiqueForced connections – the art of combining

There is nothing totally new in this world. The difference between innovators and non-innovators is simply the fact that innovators make better connections that are of value.

  1. Define your problem.
  2. Brainstorm different keywords that come to your head (relevant and irrelevant to the topic) – sometimes the more irrelevant they seem, the better it is. You can write those keywords down to Post-it notes and attach them to the wall.
  3. Start combining those words with each other and making up new connections asking yourself “what kind of ideas does this connection give me to solve my problem?”. Make wild connections by playing with the words and ideas.
  4. Select the best ideas.
  5. Take massive action and get results.

Did you know that:

  • All the modern English literature is a pattern of 26 letters.
  • All the paintings that have ever been done are made of 3 fundamental colors – blue, red, yellow.
  • All the music that has ever been written consists of patterns made out of 12 notes.
  • All the information you see on your computer screen is a pattern of binary code (“1” or “0”).

Impressive? I want you to redefine the amount of resources to come out with something totally new. You just have to become a great connector of existing elements. “What if I combined these things?”

journey_creativity_techiqueThe journey – adventure for ideas

Switch your thinking by switching your environment. Go out to get some fresh stimuli.

  1. Define your problem.
  2. Explain the problem to your team-mates and get out from your office (go to the library for example). Ask each member to investigate around to find ideas that could solve the problem and meet in one hour. They can take things with them or make notes and photos for example.
  3. Meet, take notes and share the ideas that you developed during your journey.
  4. Select the best ones adapt them to your current situation.
  5. Take massive action and get results.

Step out from your box, read materials you normally don´t read, talk to people you normally don´t speak. Get fresh ideas by getting fresh input.

Experiment by using elements from different creativity techniques, create combinations that suit you the best and create the ritual that helps you most effectively develop fresh ideas.

Are you using some cool creativity technique already? Let people know what it is and how it works by adding it as a comment. Let the world know what works, because there are hundreds of poeple longing for fresh ideas.

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