We all experienced it. THE IDEA. We connect the dots and have a sensation/ it makes click. The coin drops: that’s it! Breakthrough ideas often come with a delay and when least expected: On the way home from work, while walking the dog, over lunch with a colleague, while reading a book or the Twitter stream.
We can also watch out for those ‘aha’ moments. Associations are doing the trick. Going for a walk with a creative challenge or a question in mind changes our perspective. We basically ask the universe for feedback.
I just did it. My last blog entry about thinking outside the box was inspired by the universe, actually by ducks and fisher boats. I was preparing an input on creative thinking. My question was: what kind of take-home would be inspiring? While watching the peaceful lake setting at dawn the idea of building a bridge came to my mind. On a bridge I could continue my walk and join the fisherman. The word ‘building’ was the trigger. Back home I started drawing and building my little box with creative thinking resources.
It’s not the first time that the environment helped me. As train commuter I often have spare moments and find myself watching around. What would that crane tell about my question? What would these kids or the handyman think about my challenge? It’s fun to slip into the shoes of others and think new combinations.
3 ideas that spark creative thinking
- Random words
A series of random words serve as stimuli for fresh thinking.
- Alternative Uses: Imagine all possible, wild and crazy approaches or ways of doing things.
- Analogous inspiration: Observe different domains or settings with similar activities or interactions as your challenge and get inspired by them.