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Five points to boost creativity and problem solving

posted Jun 24, 2013, 7:12 AM by Ashley Ringger-SSM
I recently read an article about how "thinking outside the box" may actually be limiting our creativity. I mean what does that even mean, to "think outside the box"? The article went on to give five points on how to jumpstart creativity - something that's helpful for all business owners.

  1. Don't start in the same place. If you were asked to draw pictures of creatures from another plant, you would reference images of creatures on Earth, right? This limits creativity as you are just pulling from what you know. Rather, image what the climates or evolution of the other plant might be like and consider how a creature would survive there.
  2. Forget the fear of failure. When we feel someone is going to judge or evaluate our ideas, we are much more conservative in what we come up with. Try not to think about the "consequences" of your new idea and just feel confident in bringing up something new and different.
  3. Concentration killed the creativity star. Thinking too hard and long about something just ruins it. Step back from the problem you are trying to solve and let your brain think on autopilot. Going for a walk, meditating or moving freely all help.
  4. The limits of law. Copyright protection has its role in society, but it also places value on the monetary outcomes of new ideas rather than the just the improvement of one product or the other. In this case it's wise to draw on what's been done before, but find ways to make it your own.
  5. Bored could be your best solution. We are so obsessed with constantly checking our phones or being entertained that we have no time to just let our brain wander. When was the last time you waited for a tram without looking at your phone? Cherish the moments when we actually can do nothing and just let our brain stew. You'll be surprised about what ingenious ideas come about.
Have you come up with a good idea or solved a problem while not actively trying to? Ever just had that big idea hit you one moment? 
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