When the obvious or existing ideas don’t suffice to solve your problems or improve your circumstances, it is time to bring your creativity to the table.
The enemy of your creativity is prematurely evaluating the quality, or possibilities, of your idea. Instead, concentrate on identifying as many great ideas as possible.
There are lots of great ways to do that. Here are two:
Decentralized brainstorming is when you enlist your colleagues in idea development. Each of them individually brainstorms as many ideas as possible isolated from one another. The key is to allow the ideas to flow freely. Once you have each created your separate lists of ideas, it is time to put them together into a single list. Group those ideas by similarity and affinity. Then and only then, work together to make some choices about the best ideas using some simple criteria such as potential impact and cost / effort.
Another possibility is to engage your partners in an exercise used in the improvisation community. Choose someone to throw out the first idea. Then, each successive person says “Yes, and…” Then, build upon the idea. Alternately, they may say “Yes, I love that idea because X, and…”. The key is to always build and not to judge. See where it all leads you. My bet… somewhere you have never thought about.
Premature judgement of ideas is the enemy of creativity. Use some of these ideas to overcome that instinct. Let me know how it goes.
Just my opinion. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
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