We chase them. We wait for them, demand them. Why are ideas so important to us? Well, pretty much everything about interacting with the world around us comes down to how we understand it. It's our minds after all that take us beyond the scope of a mosquito, car, goat—or at least we like to think so. Perception fuels living. The more ways we can imagine things, the bigger (and better) they get. So let's think.
Bryan W. Mattimore, author of Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs, suggests seven idea-generating techniques that can kickstart creativity to action. Here's our take on them.
1. Questioning assumptions
Definite a creative challenge. Generate 30 assumptions you might have about it. Use these as prompts for new ideas.
2. Opportunity redefinition
State your objective. Take a good look at it. Pluck out its most interesting words and replace them with different ones. Rinse and repeat until you've found your blind spots.
We've all thought about our three, but say your wishes are infinite. Make them far-fetched, then make them tangible. Now apply them to your problem.
4. Triggered brainwalking
Get a group together. Give each member a blank sheet of paper to record one idea. Pass papers on until everyone in the group has added to each idea. The results may surprise you.
5. Semantic intuition
Use a variety of either related or random images to help spark new solutions.
7. Worst idea
Bad ideas contain the seeds of good ones. This one is simple: find the worst idea. Now flip it on its head.
Give it a shot--and don't forget to share your ideas!