Stimulating Creative Thinking and Innovation
The world often frowns on the use of the word creativity; especially the world of careers and cubicles. After childhood we are discouraged from being creative or ‘weird’ when compared to other adults. This will stifle the creativity of the average person so that when you are encouraged to start becoming creative once more it is a bit like trying to ride an old bicycle with a rusty chain; the wheels turn slowly and make a lot of noise. This is where you must stimulate thinking patterns with brainstorming and other activities to get your creative brain flowing once more.
As the business world becomes more and more competitive, companies are learning to start encouraging innovation . They are looking for ideas to innovate that rely on your creativity. In order to keep up you can use some of these ideas to stimulate thinking and get ahead in your career.
- Brainstorm the right way. Define the challenge. Set a time limit of 10-30 minutes depending on how many people are participating. Write down all solutions/ideas to innovate. Aim for 50-100 ideas. When time is up have everyone pick the top 5 that meet the criteria you set. This could be that it is cost effective or that it can be completed by May 31. Vote to order the top 5 from best to worst.
- Listen to classical music such as Bach. This may sound odd but it has been scientifically proven that classical music activates the creative parts of the brain to stimulate thinking.
- Keep a notebook and pen/pencil with you at all times so that you can jot down inspiring ideas to innovate.
- If you have a certain routine everyday consider breaking it up with a walk or having lunch at a new place. A change of scenery can often stimulate thinking.
- Don’t wait for a group brainstorming session. Grab paper and pen and write down your dilemma. Make a promise to yourself that you will write down whatever comes to mind, no matter how crazy, for the next 5 minutes. You’ll be amazed what happens when you don’t let that inner critic tell you no.
- Don’t watch television. Those are other people’s ideas.
- If you’re problem involves a certain type of people consider going to where your target audience is and watching the people and how they go about their business.
Regardless of whether the world is encouraging innovation or stifling it, you can never stop learning and dreaming. Once you stop learning and developing ideas to innovate your life, you cease to fully live. Living on purpose is about embracing your creativity and helping the world around you.