Spring has sprung, and it feels like time for some blue-sky thinking. Creativity isn’t just for artists, eccentrics and geniuses: the most logical minds can learn to think creatively. Even the smallest shift in perspective can result in a huge step forward.
- Get over the fear. Believing that we’re not ‘naturally creative’ holds us back from trying. Worrying about the quantity or quality of our ideas can also get in the way. Letting go of the myths that surround creativity is the first step to unleashing it.
- Explore the situation. Often, we jump straight into generating solutions without fully understanding the problem or opportunity. Take time to investigate fully, using insightful questions to dig deeper into what’s really going on. Thorough research at the outset can lead to a breakthrough later on.
- Define the problem. A problem well-stated is a problem halfway solved. Use the insights you’ve gleaned to come up with a succinct objective before you start generating ideas. It could be ‘how might we grow our business?’, or ‘in what ways can we communicate our brand?’ Avoid limiting criteria or leading statements to encourage more original answers.
- Silence your inner critic. Shift your focus from coming up with a good idea to coming up with lots of ideas. By suspending judgment and evaluation, you’ll stop self-censoring – making a brilliant brainwave all the more likely.
- Adopt a different perspective. We all get stuck in our own ways of thinking, which holds us back. Look at the problem from the viewpoint of somebody completely different: how might an economist, a politician or an actor approach it? Stepping outside our own experience can unlock creative gems.