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How to Generate Ideas: 5 Ways


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Generating ideas, increasing productivity and finding meaning while brainstorming are all great results that can be achieved using the techniques below.

1. Random Input

This is one of the most common techniques creative's use. It's the idea of solving your problem by using a randomly chosen word as the answer. If you are ever stuck just come up with a way of randomly selecting a word. Fun examples: Walk up to an interesting looking stranger and ask them for a word, watch Tv on mute, then unmute it when a character is talking and use the first interesting word that comes out of their mouth. Once you have your word, it then becomes a process of listing every attribute and association that word has. Apply the attributes and associations to your problem and see what you get. It seems crazy but the human brain is hard wired to make sense of things when they are put together, even if the notions are completely disparate.

2. Problem Reversal

State a problem or existing idea in reverse. Take a positive statement and make it negative, make white black, figure out the ideal victory to a common defeat etc. Try to define what something is not. Figure out what everybody is not doing. This is done all the time with great success, example: Japan marketed small, fuel efficient cars at a time when the American muscle cars ruled. Ask "what if..." then state the exact opposite to your proposition. Fun example: Speak to a senior citizen and ask them about how things were 'back in their day' in relation to your problem. Take their story and reverse every key point. The purpose of problem reversal is to change your perspective and derail the way in which the world has trained you to think. This is similar to lateral thinking, which is covered below.

3. Brainstorming

Mind mapping and brainstorming is a great way to stimulate creativity. The theory is that bouncing ideas off others stimulates creative thought, setting of a chain reaction of creativity in a group situation. A downside to brainstorming is that sometimes fresh ideas are easier to come up with when one is alone. This technique is at its most powerful when used to refine an already existing idea. The main criteria for having a good brainstorm session are:

- Have a well defined and clearly stated problem or desire going in.
- Have someone assigned to write down ideas as they occur.
- Have the right number of people in the brainstorm group. -Have a variety of creative personalities involved and make sure everyone gets their say.
- Follow the rules; Suspend judgment, every idea must be accepted and recorded. Encourage everyone to build on others ideas.
- Encourage people to come up with their odd ideas. History shows that often it's the most seemingly ludicrous ideas, which with a little more attention and thought can become something truly revolutionary.

4. Lateral thinking

Lateral thinking questions seek to solve a problem via unorthodox or apparently illogical methods. Lateral thinking is like moving sideways to get a different perception, point of entry or concept. This indeed is one of the greatest tools for idea generation. Free your mind and refrain from thinking anywhere near in terms of what has worked in the past. Fun tip: go to a kindergarten and pose your problem to a cluster of children. Children have not yet been conditioned in the way they think, which makes them an invaluable source of originality.

5. Live aka Research

Want a good research method or process? Living is the best form of research you could ever hope to do. Reading books and surfing the net is fine, but what you will most likely end up with is a lot of head knowledge with very little emotional attachment. Fun tip: take a coin and assign a simple yes/no answer to each side. Proceed to allow the coin to dictate your every decision for an entire day, week, or month and see how interesting/different your life becomes. Living life to the fullest takes courage and commitment, which are probably the two most essential ingredients for establishing anything worthwhile, whether it be in the avenue of business, entertainment/media, or even in your personal life. In order to be truly creative you must place your mind in a world where you wholeheartedly believe that ANYTHING is possible.


If you are interested in exploring more of your creative side, Lifeway College runs a highly acclaimed Diploma in 3D animation. This course features involvement from industry experts, and has even hosted guest lecturers who have worked for the likes of Disney, Weta digital and Dreamworks. To learn more about this exciting course visit http://www.lifeway.ac.nz/3d-animation

Source: http://www.submityourarticle.com

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Published - May 2010









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