The principles that enable creative thinking apply to all sorts of scenarios. We’ve defined five areas that we work in, all benefiting from creative thinking but leading to slightly different outcomes.
New thinking is simply where you need to have an idea that is new. This could be a new product, service or way of doing things.
Over the years we’ve discovered a set sequence helps us come up with new ideas. There’s no secret to our process. No magic or mysterious formula. You’ll probably read what follows and think it’s common sense. It is.
But when you’re knee deep in all that life and work has to throw at you, it’s almost impossible to do without a helping hand.
This is the hardest bit. You need a new idea. You may even have a deadline hanging over your head.
It feels like taking your marks for a 100m sprint. The pistol has been fired and you can see the finish line but you’ve no idea how you’re going to get there.
You need to start by removing the finish line. There is no race. You’re going for a run someplace you’ve never been before. You have no idea where you’re going to end up. What an exciting prospect! Get there you will.
Practical stuff. The easy bit. Give yourself space. A quiet space. Clear your desk. Put on your out of office. Close your apps. Stick your phone in the drawer.
The desire for open collaborative working styles and environments has left us with little opportunity for deep work. And then we had home working at the dining room table thrown in for good measure.
Part of the creative process can only happen if you can get deep into your work. Completely absorbed with no distractions. If you able to, you may even enter your flow state.
Time to do what you’ve been procrastinating about. Get your thoughts out of your head and on to paper. Don’t sit staring at a blank page.
The first thing you write down might be lightyears from where you’ll end up, it might be complete garbage. But you won’t get to where you need to be unless you start.
“I don’t know what I think until I write it down.”Joan Didion
Now stop. don’t collaborate. Just listen.
Listen to that pesky chimp in your head, the one that wants you to find something else to do.
Leaving a task half-finished is a good thing when it comes to creativity. By leaving it and doing something else you are allowing your subconscious a chance to solve the problem.
You’ll have experienced this before and maybe not realised it. The idea that comes to you in the shower. The solution that pops into your head while you’re driving.
If you can distract yourself with a walk in nature you’re giving your subconscious an even better chance. If you see a squirrel, chase it!
Put your chimp back in its box. Review what you’ve done with fresh eyes. Your ideas should now be refined or resolved. If you’re no closer to solving the problem, you may need to give yourself more time. Get your thoughts down a bit more and then hit the hay. See what’s landed by morning.
Whether you’ve been flying solo or working with a pal, find some other minds you can share your thoughts with. Be prepared for them to pull your idea to pieces. This is good. Be open to their thoughts, listen carefully and take it on the chin. They might love your idea, thats good too!
Go back to your thinking space. Reflect on what you’ve heard. Even if it was hard to swallow. Approach your idea with the feedback in mind, they might have even given you the silver bullet, you just haven’t realised it yet.
Now go again.
Distraction=> Development => Conversation => And repeat until you strike gold.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly you generate new ideas.
If you’re struggling, we’d be happy to talk to about coming up with new ideas using creative thinking, for free. And then, if we think we can help you and you like the cut of our jib, we’d take you on a creative journey that won’t fail to get you where you need to be.
Can we help you with your thinking? Pop your details in below and we’ll be in touch.
There seems to be an unwritten rule of business that we need to adopt a certain tone of voice in order to achieve anything. To be taken seriously.
Mongrel! Mongrel, Mongrel. Bo-bin-grel! Bo-na-na fanna, fo-fin-grel! Fee fi mo-mon-grel, Mongrel!
We all benefit from mixing things up a little. We know deep down change really does feel as good as a holiday. But we rarely take the plunge and go for it.