I love these eight strategies mapped out in How To Cultivate Creativity, by author Tom Kelley (co-founder of IDEO). Simple, spot-on and succinct.
Can I add one more? 9. Restrain your negativity. (or, Ask “Why not”?)
1. Choose creativity.
To be more creative, the first step is to decide you want to make something happen.
2. Think like a traveller.
Like a visitor to a foreign land, try turning fresh eyes on your surroundings, no matter how mundane or familiar. Don’t wait around for a spark to magically appear. Expose yourself to new ideas and experiences.
3. Engage relaxed attention.
Daydreaming has a bad rap. But new findings in neuro-psychology show that flashes of insight often come when your mind is relaxed and not focused on completing a specific task, allowing the mind to make new connections between seemingly unrelated ideas.
4. Empathise with your end user.
You come up with more innovative ideas when you better understand the needs and context of the people you are creating solutions for.
5. Do observations in the field.
If you observe others with the skills of anthropologists, you might discover new opportunities hidden in plain sight.
6. Ask questions, starting with “why?”
A series of “why?” questions can brush past surface details and get to the heart of the matter. For example, if you ask someone why they are still using a fading technology (think landline phones), the answers might have more to do with psychology than practicality.
7. Reframe challenges.
Sometimes, the first step toward a great solution is to reframe the question. Starting from a different point of view can help you get to the essence of a problem.
8. Build a creative support network.
Creativity can flow more easily and be more fun when you have others to interact with and bounce ideas off.
Any other strategy you’d add?
Photo source: Colorfull