PLAY PLAY PLAY
Where do you see unrestrained creativity? The answer of course is in children. They don’t self-edit, they aren’t afraid to shout about any idea they have. It’s this state of unrestrained creativity that the best ideas come from. So forget the traditional brainstorm where a group of people sit around a clip board fearful of what to say. Come up with ideas in the same playful environment children do – a fun atmosphere where people aren’t afraid to share their thoughts. Use games, brain teasers and play to get people into this mind space and try to foster an environment where people aren’t afraid to throw forward a ‘whacky’ idea.
ADD SOME CURIOSITY
The most innovative creative thinkers all have one thing in common – they are curious about the world around them and are open to exploring new things. Going back to those unrestricted creative geniuses (children) – think about how often they say the word ‘why’. This is an outward sign of curiosity and the building block from which most creative thought comes from. So encourage yourself to be curious about the world around you. A good way of forcing your brain into this state is to think about something you like or admire, a film, a building, a creative idea, whatever. Write down in a single sentence why it’s great. Do this regularly and it will encourage your brain to be more curious about the things around you.
CLEAR YOUR HEAD
We all have those moments when our brain is full to overflowing, you are multi-tasking to the max and constantly thinking of what needs to be done. Ever tried coming up with a creative solution at this time? We have. It doesn’t work. Mindfulness is a great aid to stress, can boost your resilience and give you a more positive outlook. But at Aspect we have a good understanding of how effective it is at enhancing creativity. Whenever our staff take part in any kind of creative ideation, they start with a short 10-15 minute period of mindfulness. Give it a try and see for yourself.
Very few great creative ideas were arrived at by people sitting at desks staring at their computers. Get out, take a walk, stimulate your brain. This is also a very useful thing to do when you are right in the middle of the creative ideation process. Ever noticed that an idea pops into your head when you’re least expecting it. There is a science behind that. So fill your brain with stimulation and information related to your topic, then stop, get away, relax, think of something else. You’ll be shocked at how effective this can be in coming up with great ideas.
There are genuinely very few truly original creative ideas out there. Nearly everything you see that strikes you as being ‘creative’ are just two familiar things joined together to create a new and unusual combination. Perhaps the clearest way of demonstrating this is by looking at comedy sketches. Take Monty Python as an example. ‘Dead Parrot’ (combines a pet shop with returning products that don’t work in other kinds of shops), ‘The Killer Joke’ (combines a news report about a secret weapon with a funny joke), ‘127th Upper-class Twit of the Year’ (combines an Olympic event with posh stereotypes). The list goes on and on. But the lesson here is to try and combine some of your creative thoughts. You never know where it might take you.