“I’m not creative”, I have heard this so many times that I can’t count on fingers and toes. The truth is that for some people creativity is a scary word, people think that to be creative yo have to generate incredible ideas. Let’s face it, most of us create ideas every day. Including you!
The other day I saw this video:
At first, it melted my heart 😍. Moreover, then it got me thinking how over the years, after an education, from parents and schools, that is mainly of things we are not allowed to do, we become fearsome and stop exploring to become a standard human being.
Some of the best businesses are companies that open their minds and challenge the status quo. These are the business that will shape the world.
“But where do you get the ideas from?”, well… thanks for asking because I have the answer right here!
1. Carry a notepad and pen at all times
I have at least three notebooks started at the time. I have one in my bag, one at the pocket of my jacket and one is in my bedside table. These are notepads to write thoughts and ideas, I don’t write meeting notes or to do lists in them, those go to another ad dedicated work related notepad.
These creative notepads don’t have rules. Everything is allowed to go there — drawings, words, stickers. Also, I love going through them every so often. Also, by writing things down you index the idea in your head.
2. Ask a child
My nephews and nieces, the little ones, are the ones that have helped me to solve problems. Yes! If you have children close to you, go and ask them for advice. They might come out with something a bit bonkers but if you then time the idea it might actually be a great one! Trust me on this one!
It is like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet. I love participating in brainstorming! The set up is easy. One person writes everything. I mean EVERYTHING! No need for umbrellas 😜
The idea of brainstorming is that some ideas might not be right but could prompt to new and improved ones. That’s why you have to go into it with no sense of judgement or shame. I usually kick out people who veto ideas. 😅
4. Mind mapping
Mind mapping is just dumping your brain into a paper. I use it all the time. I have a lot to say and the will to help people with what I know, but I’m not a good writer and find difficult to express what’s in my mind. I use this technique to organise the ideas and scrap the ones don’t fit in a post, for example. The picture above was the first thing I did before writing this article.
5. Daydreaming and Meditate
These two are opposite, I know! However, both work and both are letting your mind flow. Meditation is excellent to settle your buzzing mind. My mind sometimes is like a shaken snowglobe, each flake is an idea, and I can’t choose the best one. Meditating it’s like letting the snowglobe alone so all the snowflakes come down and fewer ideas are fighting to be seen. It’s only then when you look at the good ones coming down last, and you can grab them quickly.
On the opposite spectrum, there is daydreaming. Sometimes I just play with all the ideas in my head and imagine how they would work. I daydream a lot!
6. Reverse thinking
Sometimes it’s useful to start at the end and work backwards. You have a problem to solve. Instead, why don’t you think “how can I provoke this problem?” or “how can I provoke the opposite of this problem”.
7. Questioning assumptions
I’m guilty! I do sometimes assume without questioning. It is difficult to question things that have been established and proven. Also, so many times I say “There’s no point to reinvent the wheel”. By saying that you might actually be missing an opportunity to create something great.
It’s not that easy to question things, because sometimes budget or time constraints don’t allow you to do so. However, whenever you can apply it do it! It’s worthwhile!
One of my favourite stories, which I have told so many times is how some doctors were watching the Formula1 and seeing how fast were in the pitstop thought if we could only be that fast on our heart operations, we would save lives. That’s how a collaboration started. Applying the techniques from Formula1 to an operating theatre.
9. Get out your comfort zone
We all hate when you are alone at a party that you don’t know anybody. Your hands are sweating, and you grab a drink, so you have something to do. Maybe pretend that you received a text on your phone and then try to look cool while feeling judged for being alone.
This is called being out of your comfort zone. Also, it’s only then when your survival instinct kicks in. You find ways to meet people and find comfort. That time and moment is a nest of idea generating.
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