Boost your creativity – 3 quick and easy methods

“We need to think differently!” “This needs some fresh ideas!” “We have got to be more creative around here!”

Messages like these are popping up more and more in your workplace? If the idea of being creative at work makes you think of artistic talent, don’t worry!

Business creativity is all about finding fresh and innovative solutions to problems, and identifying opportunities to improve the way that we do things. As such, anyone can be creative, just as long as they have the right mindset and use the right tools.

Here are 3 quick and easy methods to stimulate your creativity, ready to use to develop creative and imaginative solutions to personal and business tasks. Following this link, you’ll find another awesome tool that helps you come up with fresh ideas.

1) Play

Lose yourself in play: a very powerful creative tool, which allows you to step out of mind and to access information that is otherwise not readily obtainable. Start playing now! Here are three nice tools:

Memory – match pairs of animated tiles:


Be your own Jackson Pollock – doodle and enjoy your artwork:

Entropy_Black-light blue_s

Role playing – Role playing can give you a different perspective that can lead to helpful ideas. For example, ask yourself “If I were …” how would I address this challenge? If I had lived in the 60’s, I could have been a hippie. If I had been a hippie, I must have driven a motorcycle, played the guitar,… imagine yourself in a different time at a different place. What life would you have had? Here is a funny tool that helps you with your imagination. Just click on the picture below:

As time goes by

2) Individual brainstorming

Brainstorming is a popular and effective technique for developing creative solutions to a problem. Brainstorming combines a relaxed, informal approach to problem solving with lateral thinking and helps individuals and groups to increase the richness of ideas by breaking out of established thinking patterns.

The participants of a brainstorming session shout out ideas as they occur to them and then build on the ideas raised by others. All the ideas are noted down and are not criticized. Only when the brainstorming session is over, the ideas are evaluated.

However, best results are usually achieved by  individual brainstorming sessions. When you brainstorm on your own, you’ll tend to produce a wider range of ideas than with group brainstorming. You do not have to worry about other people’s egos or opinions, and can therefore be more freely creative.

A list of different brainstorming techniques you can find here.

3) Provocative Operation

The more we are used to something, the less stimulating it is for our thinking: Welcome to the daily routine! Generally we think by recognizing patterns and reacting to them. Such reactions come from our past experiences and logical extensions to those experiences.

Edward de Bono coined the concept of Provocative Operation (PO):  A provocation interrupts our thinking and moves it out of the established, normal patterns. The interruption of our behavioral thought patterns can be of great stimulus to our thinking, because it forces us to make new connections in order to comprehend the situation. The PO technique often helps us to generate completely new concepts.

The ways of generating interruptions can be manifold. A soft way is to program interruptions into your day: Change working hours, get to work a different way, listen to a different music, read some magazines or books you wouldn’t normally read, try a different recipe, eat different food, watch a TV program or film you wouldn’t normally watch.

The PO technique in its true sense requires you to make deliberately stupid statements, thus provocations, in which something we take for granted about a given situation is not true. Statements need to be stupid to shock our minds out of existing ways of thinking. Once we have made a provocative statement, our judgement is suspended and the statement is used to generate ideas.

For example, imagine making the statement ‘Cars should not have wheels’. Normally this would not be a good idea! ‘Why cars should not have wheels?’ – ‘Because wheels can getting flat.’ This leads one to think of cars with self-inflating tires.

Further information? | Communication and Thinking Skills

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