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Ideas, Ideas, How to Create More Ideas
Train Your Brain to Create More Ideas!
Do you want to create more ideas, do you need more Ideas? Learn great techniques to turn yourself into an Ideas Powerhouse!
Do you need business ideas, ideas for new Squidoo lenses, ideas for parties, ideas for new lyrics, plots for books, money making ideas, artistic ideas, ideas for recipes the list goes on.
This ambitious lens will cover how to get more ideas, how to analyze how you got an idea, how to recognize good ideas and tips and techniques on how to be more creative. Turn yourself into an idea factory!
Could you be just one idea away from success? Find out how to generate your brilliant idea below!
Idea Birds: Why you Must Write Down Your Ideas Immediately
Ideas are like Last Night's Dream
Ideas just seem to spring into your head out of your subconscious but rather like last night's dream they can disappear and be forgotten just as quickly. It is therefore vital to immediately jot them down on paper or in your cell phone notes.
Look sharply after your thoughts, They come unlooked for, like a new bird seen in your trees, and, if you turn to your usual task, disappear. Ralph Waldo Emerson
STOP PRESS : Important Idea Creation Tip
When you get one idea you often get two or three at the same time, write down just a few words for each: don't write down a lot for the first idea as the effort of concentration can easily make the other ideas fly away.
What Are Ideas, Where Do They Come From?
Ideas are connections that you make spontaneously or otherwise as you review in your mind events or problems. Many of your best ideas happen when you are in idle mode. You have to train yourself to recognise an idea and then evaluate whether it is worth pursuing in any case you should write it down.
Everyone has ideas but many people have no confidence that they can make use of of their ideas, thus they never train or discipline themselves to boost there idea generating abilities.
Decide today to focus on how you think, what you think about for the next few days.
Ideas Don't Have to be BIG!
People often think that to have useful ideas they must think of something extraordinary or revolutionary but in fact ideas can be small and simple, a quicker way to work, a way to organise your paperwork, a way to get your work done more efficiently, an attention grabbing title for your new essay or blog posting, a simple gift that would provide pleasure for a friend or relation, a surprise for a colleague, an exciting vacation, a new recipe, a way of using some ingredients that might go stale soon.
All of these can make life a little easier or more pleasant or earn you more money
How Do You Create Ideas?
Have You Ever Really Thought About How You Create Ideas Before?
The Wonder of Serendipity
Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.
So the more you do and learn the more knowledge you have, the more you experience the more you promote the possibility of discovering something.
Learn More About Idea Generation
It's harder than it sounds to create new ideas. We need techniques, methodologies and so. It's annoying how 'obvious' other peoples ideas appear AFTER they've become successful with them. This book is a follow up to Thinker Toys
This book examines the psychology of creativity and discounts the idea that there is a quasi-magic process required.
Thinking Out Of The Box
This is an exercise often used by corporates to come up with original ideas for products or services. Participents are invited to turn ideas and current practice upside down until something useful comes up; this is done without fear of ridicule.
What you must try to do is eliminate Blocking Parameters or Limiting Parameters these are unconscious assumptions/prejudices you have when approaching a problem. See the Placing a Dot Exercise where most people will docilely place the dot in the centre.
Placing a Dot Exercise
Group Exercise to Demonstrate Most People's Conformity
Hand out a Piece of Paper containing a square or circle. Casually ask people to place a dot on the paper. Get them all to stand and then ask those (80%) who put the dot in the very center to sit down. Then find out where the rest put their dot, praise those with the most ingenuity, eg someone who put his dot on the other side!!
Use this as a warm up exercise to show your participants how docile they are and how much they are going to have to stretch themselves
Brainstorming with a Paperclip
Exercise for a Seminar (Divergent Thinking)
Divide people up into four groups or so. Allow 5 minutes for each group to list down as many uses of a paperclip as possible.
Ask how many uses were found from each group leader, them write each idea down on a white board ignoring duplicates. Your audience will be surprised how many things were possible with such a common place item. It will also open their eyes to the power of the collective intelligence.
In fact if you repeated the exercise you would come up with even more ideas, showing there is practically no limit to our powers of imagination
How Do You Get Your Ideas? - Ideas Hot House
Some very good ideas on idea creation and idea conservation. I thank you all.
How Do You Get Your Ideas
Divergent and Convergent Thinking
Divergent thinking is a thought process or method, which is usually applied with the goal of generating ideas. It is often used for creative and problem solving purposes in conjunction with Convergent thinking.
Convergent Thinking, in which the person is good at bringing material from a variety of sources to bear on a problem, in such a way as to produce the "correct" answer. This kind of thinking is particularly appropriate in science, maths and technology.
Divergent Thinking is inspired by creative elaboration of ideas prompted by a stimulus, and is more suited to artistic pursuits and study in the humanities. Eg the Paperclip Exercise described elsewhere.
A very creative person might combine both convergent and divergent thinking to generate a completely original idea.
SCAMPER is a checklist that helps you to think of changes you can make to an existing product to create a new one. You can use these changes either as direct suggestions or as starting points for lateral thinking.
- S - Substitute - components, materials, people
- C - Combine - mix, combine with other assemblies or services, integrate
- A - Adapt - alter, change function, use part of another element
- M - Modify - increase or reduce in scale, change shape, modify attributes (e.g. colour)
- P - Put to another use
- E - Eliminate - remove elements, simplify, reduce to core functionality
- R - Reverse - turn inside out or upside down
Lateral Thinking : Edward De Bono
Edward de Bono is popularly known for his lateral thinking puzzles, the solution of these problems require you to avoid making normal assumptions and to think out of the box. (Simple one A boy is rushed into A&E. The surgeon takes one look at the boy, and exclaims, "I can’t operate on him; he’s my son!" The surgeon is not the boy’s father. How can this be?)
De Bono has detailed a range of 'deliberate thinking methods' - applications emphasizing thinking as a deliberate act rather than a reactive one. His writing style has been lauded for being simple and practical. Avoiding academic terminology, he has advanced applied psychology by making theories about creativity and perception into usable tools.
De Bono's work has become particularly popular in the sphere of business - perhaps because of the perceived need to restructure corporations, to allow more flexible working practices and to innovate in products and services. The methods have migrated into corporate training courses designed to help employees and executives think outside the box. (quote Wikipedia)
Tracking how you Create Ideas/ Exposure
Ideas often appear to arrive fully formed in your consciousness. It can be useful to spend some time tracking down where the seed of the idea came from. Often they originate in some banal event, a meeting, an overheard remark, a newspaper article.
It is said that your weaker links are more important in this case than your stronger links. Stronger links are say colleagues you see frequently who can become a shield protecting you from the world. Weaker links are people who you see rarely but when you do see them are thus more likely to reveal unexpected information.
Exposure to unexpected or challenging situations is thus important for idea creation, you should seek out situations which challenge you or are outside your comfort zone, or out of character , do anything and everything to add to the cocktail of experiences that contribute to your life.
Example:- You go on vacation on your own in a foreign country although this will be uncomfortable you will likely be forced to meet new people make new connections go off on unexpected tangents.
The Elusive Obvious
The idea here is to look at things philosophically. Try to notice the unseen, get thru the obvious shell and look into the REAL thing.
The trick is to spot something is so obvious that no one has ever noticed it before
Seeing the ellusive obvious is like getting a new pair of glasses. Because every new idea that becomes a part of you, every new reality you discover makes you see the world in a new way.
Sharing and Fertilizing Your Ideas
Don't be scared to share your ideas with other people that way you can get useful feedback. While you have to avoid being discouraged by the inevitable negativity that you will get even from friends you should be discerning enough to take on criticism which points out valid problems with your idea. If you feel reluctant to share an idea it may be a sign that you inner doubts yourself
Organizing Ideas Into Common Themes
Also called the KJ method, after its developer Kawakita Jiro (a Japanese anthropologist) an affinity diagram helps to synthesize large amounts of data by finding relationships between ideas. The information is then gradually structured from the bottom up into meaningful groups. From there you can clearly "see" what you have, and then begin your analysis or come to a decision.
Affinity diagrams can be used to:
* Draw out common themes from a large amount of information.
* Discover previously unseen connections between various ideas or information.
* Brainstorm root causes and solutions to a problem.
Because many decision-making exercises begin with brainstorming, this is one of the most common applications of affinity diagrams. After a brainstorming session there are usually pages of ideas. These won't have been censored or edited in any way, many of them will be very similar, and many will also be closely related to others in a variety of ways. What an affinity diagram does is start to group the ideas into themes.
From the chaos of the randomly generated ideas comes an insight into the common threads that link groups of them together. From there the solution or best idea often emerges quite naturally. This is why affinity diagrams are so powerful and why the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers consider them one of the "seven management tools."
Million Dollar Ideas
Well I haven't had one yet so this section is rather empty! Here are some jokey onesCreate a line of address books, cell phones, wallets and purses that, like cordless telephones, beep when they're lost. Mobile Gym for rent to Movie Stars or Popstars on Tour
Brain Foods for Idea Creation
Chocolate, wine and tea enhance cognitive performance. Let's qualify that, Dark Chocolate, Green Tea and MODERATE wine drinking can enhance cognitive performance according to tests run by Oxford Universiry Researchers.
The role of micronutrients in age-related cognitive decline is being increasingly studied. Fruits and beverages such as tea, red wine, cocoa, and coffee are major dietary sources of polyphenols, micronutrients found in plant-derived foods. The largest subclass of dietary polyphenols is flavonoids, and it has been reported in the past that those who consume lots of flavonoids have a lower incidence of dementia.
Idea Creation Formula - The components that make up your creative ability
All the things and experiences that make you up the cocktail that is you and makes you unique.
So the Formula is
Chance of Creativity= Past Experiences+Environment+Education+Study+Previous Successes+Previous Failures+Career+Imagination+Time Spent Reflecting+Hobbies+Interests+Stimulating Friends/Colleagues+Exposure to New Situations+Previous Exposure to Challenging environments+Open Mindedness+Analytical Capacity
- Your Formal Education Formal and your Continuing Self-Education
- Your country, culture, religion
- Your jobs , employment, profession
- Your hobbies, interests, sports
- What you've read
- Your friends and colleagues
- General Open Mindedness, Lack of Prejudice
- Your Curiosity
The Importance of Weak Associations or Links in Idea Creation
Your social circle, family, work colleagues are your strong links these are people you see frequently, the danger is however that can become a barrier between you and new experiences. Weak links are say an old school friend you happen to bump into at a conference or on a flight.
Weak ties can provide you with information that you might otherwise not have come in contact with, something our closest associates, who share very similar experiences, cannot do. Why does this happen? well the Weak Link can help you see perspective, offer unexpected advice, criticism, or suggest people you might contact. They might have succeeded, failed, dropped out, changed religion in some way or other they might surprise challenge you, things your strong links rarely do. They might embarrass you by asking if you've achieved your dreams.
So why not phone or email an old colleague now?
Thinkertoys is the best single collection of quick creative thinking exercises that I've found in a single book, ever. It's not a be-all end-all compendium of these exercises, but many very good ones are in the book, including a few great ones that I knew before reading it and several more that I added to my repertoire after reading it.
The book gives you several methodologies (ThinkerToys) where you can map or draw out ways of analysing a problem or concept or proposal in order to create new ideas.
Unusually for Creative Thinking Books it's very readable and easy to digest, you don't even need to read it any particular order.
How to Set Up a Create or Brainstorming Session for a Group
You need an initial formal structure to get the meeting going, breakdown resistance and prejudices. You'll find once things get going the session will run itself, but without that initial structure there is a great danger that the meeting will stall.
- Start with a "fun" creative exercise for example the "Uses of a Paperclip" Exercise
- Divide your group up, either deliberately into natural groups eg male, female, department etc or do the opposite mixed groups.
- Give each group an identifying funny hat or badge. Try to be creative and or provocative with each group's name/badge/hat (break the ice)
- Now do 10 minutes or so theory, breaking down a problem, moving elements about, challenging assumptions, etc
- Now move on to the main brain storming session once again have prepared hand outs, give each other the same task and then see get them to compare solutions and ideas or give them each a part of the problem.
- Monitor the groups, provide a few hints where necessary, after a few hesitant steps the group will take over and your presence will happily be superfluous!
Props/Equipment for a Creative Brainstorming Session
Remember the Props help provide structure and help break the ice
- Flipcharts, one for each group
- Different Colored Post-It Notes, Markers. Get Everyone to write an idea on a post-it note stick them on to a board then move them about and mix them
- New Toilet Paper Rolls, get the groups to write an idea/proposal on these, then make a pyramid. Then (importantly) get them to rearrange the pyramid to better structure/mix up the ideas. (Another great icebreaker)
- Whiteboards with markers
Rules for a Brainstorming Session - from http://www.brainstorming.co.uk
- Rule 1: Postpone and withhold your judgment of ideas
- Rule 2: Encourage wild and exaggerated ideas
- Rule 3: Quantity counts at this stage, not quality
- Rule 4: Build on the ideas put forward by others
- Rule 5: Every person and every idea has equal worth
Note Taking, List Making, De-Briefing - How to Capture Ideas, Knowledge and Learning
Stimulating your Creative Juices
- During Pauses, Coffee Breaks, Make a list of everything you need to do, ideas you've had
- Debriefing Yourself : When ever your return from a talk, meeting, exhibition or whatever debrief yourself note down what you learnt, promised, proposed, ideas had while your memory is still fresh (VITAL)
- Become a compulsive Note Taker. Note taking is a vital part of analysing what you've just heard and at the same time fixing it or memorising it
Rudyard Kipling used a set of questions to help trigger ideas and solve problems and immortalized them in the poem:
I have six honest serving men
They taught me all I knew
I call them What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who
* What is the problem? My suitcase is too heavy
* Where is it happening? At the airport
* When is it happening? In the evening, coming back from France
* Why is it happening? Because I have bought wine
* How can you overcome this problem? Get the wine shipped
* Who do you need to get involved? Winery will do it for me
* When will you know you have solved the problem? When it arrives at home
Crawford's Slip Writing Method/ Group Brainstorming
(photocopy the slips beforehand)
Invented in the 1920s by Dr. C. Crawford, Professor at the University of Southern California, the method simply involves collating input from people on slips of paper
The benefit of using this type of group brainstorming is not only in the variety of ideas and solutions that can be triggered: It also helps people get involved and feel that their contributions are valued. Writing rather than speaking during the group brainstorming can have added advantages: It allows individuals' thoughts to flow freely on to paper without interruption, and it can also level the playing field between quieter and more outspoken participants, allowing people to contribute equally.
There are two techniques one idea per slip, or a grid with room for several.
This can be done in teams, with an elected team captain collating ideas.
You can then have a showdown between teams.
Catalog all ideas and then email then to all participants
The Back of the Napkin - So many projects, products and businesses start off this way!
The premise behind Roam's book is simple: anybody with a pen and a scrap of paper can use visual thinking to work through complex business ideas. Management consultant and lecturer Roam begins with a watershed moment: asked, at the last minute, to give a talk to top government officials, he sketched a diagram on a napkin. The clarity and power of that image allowed him to communicate directly with his audience. From this starting point, Roam has developed a remarkably comprehensive system of ideas. Everything in the book is broken down into steps, providing the reader with tools and rules to facilitate picture making. There are the four steps of visual thinking, the six ways of seeing and the SQVID– a clumsy acronym for a full brain visual work out designed to focus ideas. Roam occasionally over complicates; nonetheless, for forward-thinking management types, there is enough content in these pages to drive many a brainstorming session
Have you taken part in a Brainstorming Session Poll
Have you taken part in a Brainstorming Session?
Idea Creation Strategy - Produce more ideas
The more ideas you produce, the more likely you will find high-quality ones.
Here are several ways to produce more ideas:
- Capture all ideas : A basic way to increase the quantity of ideas is simply to avoid losing ideas. Don’t let an idea slip by once it comes to you. Whenever you get an idea, capture it as soon as possible. Write it down or record it. Always carry a notebook.
- Don’t filter your ideas : By definition, filtering your ideas will reduce the number of ideas you have. Even if an idea doesn’t look good, let it sit for now. Later you might see it from a different perspective which shows the usefulness of the idea. If it doesn’t, you can always trash it later.
- Find more ideas than you need : If you need five ideas, find ten. If you need ten ideas, find twenty. Finding more ideas than you need is good because you can then choose the best out of them.
- Produce ideas consistently : Keep producing ideas regardless of your mood. If you are a blogger, keep writing posts. If you are a designer, keep creating new designs. If you are a programmer, keep writing codes. Allocate time for it and make it a habit.
- Use Free Writing : In free time create lists, just write something, debrief what you've just done, prepare for what you going to do
- Create an Expectancy/Excitement about the Ideas you are soon to create:
Left Brain - Right Brain
RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
"big picture" oriented
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
knows object function
LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
words and language
present and past
math and science
knows object name
The Wonder of Free Time for Idea Creation
I was on the train and got my notepad out and started jotting down notes but nothing came. Finally had my first idea, second idea then came an idea rush I was in the Idea Zone. This is how idea generation seems to work so don't get immediately frustrated.
How Many Ideas Are There?
How Many Lightbulb or Eureka Moments?
There are an infinite number of ideas waiting to be thought of, there always will be. In garages and bedrooms the new Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are already working on products and ideas which will revolutionize the future.
"Everything that can be invented - has already been invented" Attributed to Charles Duell, Commissioner of the United States Patent Office, 1899
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible," ... Lord Kelvin, President Royal Society, 1895
Some people attribute ideas and creativity to some universal or supernatural force, whatever the truth I know that I can improve my idea productivity by personal brainstorming by positive thinking and by expectancy.
Edward de Bono Six Thinking Hats
There are six metaphorical hats and the thinker can put on or take off one of these hats to indicate the type of thinking being used. This putting on and taking off is essential. The hats must never be used to categorize individuals, even though their behavior may seem to invite this. When done in group, everybody wear the same hat at the same time.
White Hat thinking
This covers facts, figures, information needs and gaps. "I think we need some white hat thinking at this point..." means Let's drop the arguments and proposals, and look at the data base."
Red Hat thinking
This covers intuition, feelings and emotions. The red hat allows the thinker to put forward an intuition without any ned to justify it. "Putting on my red hat, I think this is a terrible proposal." Usually feelings and intuition can only be introduced into a discussion if they are supported by logic. Usually the feeling is genuine but the logic is spurious.The red hat gives full permission to a thinker to put forward his or her feelings on the subject at the moment.
Black Hat thinking
This is the hat of judgment and caution. It is a most valuable hat. It is not in any sense an inferior or negative hat. The rior or negative hat. The black hat is used to point out why a suggestion does not fit the facts, the available experience, the system in use, or the policy that is being followed. The black hat must always be logical.
Yellow Hat thinking
This is the logical positive. Why something will work and why it will offer benefits. It can be used in looking forward to the results of some proposed action, but can also be used to find something of value in what has already happened.
Green Hat thinking
This is the hat of creativity, alternatives, proposals, what is interesting, provocations and changes.
Blue Hat thinking
This is the overview or process control hat. It looks not at the subject itself but at the 'thinking' about the subject. "Putting on my blue hat, I feel we should do some more green hat thinking at this point." In technical terms, the blue hat is concerned with meta-cognition.
Offline Places to Find Ideas
- Newsagents : Check what magazines are being sold, what are the headlines
- Libraries : Check the recently returned books shelves
- Libraries : Check the recently bought books shelves
- People: Listen to people in lines, the coffee bar, what are moaning about
- Avoid Newspapers: Too much gloom, negativity, confirming what you already know
Contention : There is Always an Workaround or Solution to any Problem - Given time and effort there is always a tactic
You must brainstorm with the assumption that there is a solution (vital)
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Creating More Ideas in a Nutshell
- Ideas in your head are useless, get them written down as quickly as possible, keep a log/diary
- Expose yourself to new experiences, try new things, experiment
- Become conscious of when and how an Idea pops into your head
- Use odd spare time to jot down to do lists, this will stimulate idea creation
- Look forward to the Ideas you are going to have!
Creativity Exercises - Boost Your Observation Skills
- Play Sherlock Holmes: Discretely choose one passer by and try and guess as much about that person as possible
- Look at what people have put in their Supermarket Trolley and then try guess their life style
Best Environment for Brainstorming Ideas
Well trains work best for me, there is a going places optimism about them. When I try my cafe I'm not always in a good enough mood.
So mood and ambiance play a role. That's why professional brainstormers often go to a nice hotel.
Sherlock Holmes used to go to concert when he had a difficult case to solve, much to Watson's consternation who thought that he wasn't taking things seriously.
Idea and Creativity Quotes - Idea Tips
- Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.John Steinbeck
- When I'm inspired, I get excited because I can't wait to see what I'll come up with next. Dolly Parton
Ted Talks on Youtube
Ideas Worth Spreading
TED which means Technology, Entertainment, Design is a worldwide set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan "ideas worth spreading". There is a lot of good stuff from some of the most creative and successful people in the world -- and it's free! There are over 1550 Talks available.
You can increase your idea generation ability by having your idea radar switched on all the time. You can certainly teach yourself to recognize and classify the ideas you create. You can start an idea diary.
Now that I am actively monitoring my own Idea Creation Process I am finding that what I had thought had come out of no-where actually originated from a specific event or stimulus. Once the germ of the idea had been subconsciously sown days weeks or months might pass before the idea apparently just popped out.
If I have made you more aware of your own idea creation process then I am happy.
Become Excited About your Idea Creation Ability