Coming up with a great idea once is not difficult.
However, what’s difficult is getting into the habit that enables you to come up with result-worthy ideas consistently. The extent to which you execute these ideas ultimately determines your success.
Great ideas are not magic; it is a commitment to the betterment of industry or society at large!
So, here are five proven ways to come up with great and value-adding ideas frequently:
Find the Problems
What are ideas? Value-adding solutions to already existing problems.
Is it not amazing how some people are able to turn a problem into an opportunity? Put the stones people throw at you to good use by building a monument, said Ratan Tata, former Tata Group chairman. It is a great way to express creative ideas at work.
An innovative approach to a problem or a challenge results in the creation of great ideas. It is a method for redefining problems, identifying opportunities, and finding creative solutions.
Therefore, finding or understanding the problems is the stepping stone to the most creative ideas.
One of the most prevailing misconceptions amongst people is ideas come from creativity. But, in reality, idea generation is not fueled by creativity but consumption.
“Creativity is just connecting things.”Steve Jobs
The more information you consume, the better and more innovative ideas you will have. However, the quality and quantity of what you consume also play a vital role in your ability to develop investment-worthy ideas.
The movies and shows you watch, the books you read, the people you interact with are all part of the experience that influence your idea generation process.
Therefore, if you consume unproductive content, coming up with a quality idea will be challenging.
So, always pay close attention to your consuming habits, as they are the driving engine of your creative mind.
Bring-in New Prospectives
Experts are obviously a valuable resource in solving problems, though sometimes non-experts can be equally, if not more, valuable. Because they have no idea what ‘common solutions’ are, they can tackle the issue with fresh eyes and provide a new perspective.
“The world is filled with obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”Sherlock Holmes
It is also advantageous to have experts who are not experts because it forces ‘experts’ to explain their reasoning. Often, this very act of explanation aids them in clarifying their own thinking, revealing inconsistencies and errors in their logic.
Putting aside a problem for a while and revisiting it later can also give a fresh perspective, especially if the problem is not urgent. To maintain this freshness of perspective, it is important not to refer back to your old solutions or ideas when you undergo this second look.
Great ideas don’t happen in a vacuum. You often need a catalyst to spark a path for your brain to think in. And what better way to find the catalyst than brainstorming?
The brainstorming technique is probably one of the most commonly used ways of generating many ideas in a short period of time. Although it can be done individually, it is more widely done in groups.
In early brainstorming sessions, the facilitator or leader encourages participants to contribute as many ideas as they can, no matter how absurd or irrelevant they may seem at the time.
And as the creative minds gear up and ideas start popping out, you will have some of the most amazing ideas at the end of the session.
The best part, ideas can be built upon. So an idea from your fellow colleague could resonate with yours, and together you can flesh it out into reality.
Travel Someplace New
In addition to creating psychological distance, traveling allows you to experience new sights and sounds, which will cause you to see and hear things from new perspectives. You can sometimes use your imagination to make the familiar unfamiliar and save money on a plane ticket.
- Envisioning yourself in a new environment can even help you see things from a fresh, more creative perspective.
- Researchs have shown that people are more creative when they imagine a distant future for an issue they are facing.
- You can practice mindfulness to begin seeing the world differently as an alternative. Observe and experience something specific in your environment in its entirety. Pay attention to things you would normally overlook in your everyday life.
- Mindfulness can be demonstrated in a crowded social environment by paying close attention. Take a walk in the city or wait in a crowded park. Observe how people interact with each other. Consider their idiosyncrasies and imagine what’s going on in their mind. It will help you put yourself in their shoes. Thus come up with new ideas.
Take a Break
Epiphanies are difficult to control, but they can provide us with some of our most innovative and impactful ideas. Our unconscious mind produces epiphanies when it struggles with ideas that dominate our conscious mind. Thus, in order to have an epiphany, we need to work hard on our ideas but also periodically step back to let them percolate.
It doesn’t mean you should stop working all the time, though. Give yourself a minimum of one hour a day for your mind to wander freely. Every week, take at least one day off for the same purpose.
Look at the sky in your backyard. Go hiking. Let your mind rest. Rather than focusing on your problems, try to appreciate nature. Taking a moment to enjoy your surroundings might help you find what you are looking for.