10 creativity tips which can help you with new ideas and to challenge assumptions.
- Be open to possibilities – this means thinking ‘yes and’, not ‘yes but’ and keeping all senses on alert for new ways of ‘seeing’. Not being judgemental and not jumping to defensiveness. When faced with someone else making a proposal that you would normally reject, take time to consider how it could work and then how you could build upon it.
- Take time out of the routine – change your habits. Take a different route to work if possible, take time out to go for a walk, relax. Note how this starts to shake up your ideas and supports new ideas forming.
- Work with people who think differently. Seek out people from different backgrounds, be they functional, cultural, different gender, age etc. Listen to them, observe how they work, act, live their lives. What can you learn from them?
- Draw the issue/problem using colourful pens and then share with someone who does not know the issue and ask them to interpret, then listen to what they say. What comes up for you that is new here? Using imagery can be very powerful because it contains tacit knowledge often not always clear to ourselves
- Challenge one assumption a day that you have always held. How is it framing your beliefs? Note this down and keep that awareness so you start to challenge your own assumptions. A simple exercise to do this would be to listen carefully to someone who has opposing views, for example a politician, and challenge yourself to find something that you would normally have disagreed with and find out where this belief is coming from. Does it challenge any existing beliefs you have?
- Ask why, then ask why again to delve down to find the root cause. We often make assumptions about the nature of an issue and then its solution. By asking ‘why’ we start to explore more deeply and through this, can often find that the issue is not what we originally thought, and that solutions are therefore going to be different.
- Make a metaphor, for example how is your idea like a cat? Or a spider plant? The beauty of this is that you start to see things differently and make new connections from which new ideas will come.
- Think like a child – how would a 6 year old address the issue? Children start off in life with free imaginations. Their view of the world is not contaminated by the life experiences which adults have gone through and they offer a fresh perspective.
- Ask ‘what if’ – develop different scenarios, dare to think wildly. Even the most wild scenario can offer something that can bring new ideas into the situation .
- Listen to your intuition – what hunches do you have about the situation? What is your gut feeling? We often sense when something is not right or which decision to take. Although we are often encouraged as managers to make logical rational decisions, in reality most people listen to their intuition to get a good perspective and then rationalise their decision afterwards.
What Creativity tips would you add to this list?