I decided to try something different this week and create an infographic to go with my post. (Hat tip to my friend Sandy and the members of my Master Mind group who have been encouraging me to do something like this.) Let me know how you like it.
I like to write about creativity, but stimulating your own creativity can seem elusive. You may find yourself stumped by a problem that requires an extra amount of resourcefulness. And, at one time or another, all of us have fallen into a routine where we default to the same ideas. Sometimes you need a strategy for conjuring up a little creative “magic.”
What can someone do (even if they don’t think of themselves as “creative”) to come up with more and better ideas?
I thought about this for a bit and came up with these 5 Tips for Finding Your BEST Ideas:
Tip #1: Speed Date
Don’t fall in love with your first idea. “Date around” a little bit before settling on a solution too quickly. Even if you eventually decide your original idea is best, considering options can add to or improve your first concept.
Tip #2: Interrogate
Curiosity can often breed creativity. So, ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid of asking a “stupid question.” Be brave. Seek to understand what the goal is and why you want to acheive it. Break down assumptions and discover where the real boundaries are.
Tip #3: Hunt Your Muse
Seek out things that inspire you. Notice when you find yourself full of ideas:
- When you’re in nature
- When you experience art
- When you read
- When you listen to music
- When you spend time with others
- When you are in solitude
What works for one person, may not inspire the other. Find what speaks to YOU and then listen.
Tip #4: Symbolize
Don’t be so literal. Instead, use metaphors to describe your ideas.
What is an important attribute of what you’re attempting?
For example: If you want customers to have a sense of adventure when they enter your store, then “exploring outer space” could be a metaphor you use. You could have “launchpads” where customers find quick help information. Areas around key merchandise could be “orbits.”
Tip #5: Boil It Down
We started with the idea of “speed dating” lots of ideas, but you have to boil it down eventually. Strip your ideas down to their essentials. Dieter Rams called this “less but better” design. By removing what isn’t necessary, you can focus on what is important. If you don’t know what is essential, go back to step #3 and interrogate with more questions to find out.
Do you have any other methods you use for finding your best ideas?
(and let me know if you want to see more infographics like this in the future)