What A Great Idea! 2.0 by Chic Thompson.
Creativity is not limited to the right brain, creative types. Using the right mental process, will open the door to new ideas. Thompson's updated edition not only shows you the maps to finding new ideas, but how to dispel the idea killers who are on a notorious hunt to kill your brilliant revelations.
From the nature of creativity, to handling killer phrases, to creating creatively, Chic provides processes that work for any individual and group.
"Creativity is the ability to look at the same thing as everyone else, but to see something different."
Your creative life cycle is at its peak at about 5 years old. It goes downhill from there, bottoms out at about 44. But the good news is it re-surges again at retirement. Life seems to beat it out of us.
The three phases of creativity are the "why" (0-5 years old), then "why not" (5-12 years), then "because" (12 years to retirement). In one study, 5th graders outperformed the imaginative thought of Hewlett-Packard's best innovators. There's hope for everyone.
Here's Thompson's road tour... we still have hope.
First, unlearn learning, seek the second, third answers, instead of the "right" answer (that we had to have in school). Smile more, the mind likes that and gives you more things to smile about.
Creative process: generation (getting ideas), to promotion (application of ideas), to design (organization to make it work), to implementation (tasks to reach goals), to evaluation (did it work like we thought).
Best ideas are 15 minutes ahead... if they are too far out people can't grasp them. Be dyslexic... see things differently, in a different way and speculate potential (one study found many entrepreneurs are dyslexic. That's a gift for ideas.)
Use "Ready, Fire... Aim" thinking.
1. Ready--Define the problem (beyond the borders).
2. Fire--Get as many ways to solve it (sense of solutions, both practical and those out there).
3. Aim--sift, synthesize, choose.
Dream wild first, then narrow and pick what might work.
The enemy of ideas are those knee jerk responses that squelch new ideas.
Don't be critical of the critical. Be their psycho therapists. The person is suffering from a post-traumatic reaction about a previous experience and they are inadvertently linking their thinking to your idea. Help them deal with it, and then gently move on with your idea.
Find their past, current, and future dread. Ask for options. How could it work, what is in the road, is there any way around it or another road we could take? After they have been heard, understood, appreciated, they will see your idea as less an enemy to their psyche makeup.
So you don't get blind sided, here's how they may take a shot at you.
Over generalization..."that'll never work."
Put down... "you got to be kidding."
Selective editing... "where's the money for this?"
Stalls... "run this by 'Jim' first."
Comparative Thinking... "everything's doing fine."
Catastrophizing..."They'll eat your lunch."
Zero defects... "can't argue with success."
Deal with killer phrases by identifying what's behind it, look at options, respond creatively.
What's wrong, what's needed.
Mind Map. Put a heading (the problem) in the middle of a blank piece of paper, (or wipe board). Rapidly, randomly fill the page with thoughts related. Put them all over the page without rhyme or reason. Don't try to analyze at all, just jot down all thoughts, ideas, even what you think may be dumb ones.
Then review, organize. Use this method to get ideas. (Lots of cyber examples of mind mapping...do a Google on it.)
Ask: "What can I be more open-minded about?"
"What's unique about this challenge?"
"What is this like?"
Ask "Dumb Questions." What we think is obvious may have hidden new meanings .Ask "why" five times. Dig deeper by responding to each answer with another why. Do this five times for each response. After 5 why's new origins of thought will be dug out.
Envision the future. Visualize the success experience you want. (This mental state can become a self fulfilling prophecy. Your subconscious guides you, unawares, to what you envision... when fixed stubbornly in your mind.)
1. Identify the ideal of the goal.
2. Set solution/achievement dates.
3. Visualize the problem solved, the goal reached.
4. Come back from the future.
Stay in the future, record phases leading to the goal/solution, overcome barriers, sketch a solution.
Think in opposites
Think what the problem is not. Come up with ways that won't work. Become a little absurd with your ideas on what won't work. List these. Then look at your "what won't" list and think of what would be the opposite of that. The complete opposite of the "what won'ts" may reveal some great "what to do's."
Said in another way, "If this is what it should not be, then what should it be."
Answer these questions:
1. What should we start doing?
2. What should we stop doing?
3. What should we do differently?
4. What should we keep on doing?
"What would we never do?"
Un-create, then recreate. See the problem and create opportunity from it.
"My problem is like..."
Play the creating analogies game to what this is like. Examine how your metaphor flows in process or thought. Then apply this process to the problem. (For example, an architectural process when applied to making a presentation may re-create a unique presentation concept.)
Realize that different ideas of different character, when orchestrated can make beautify music. Like a violin, with drums and a trumpet, orchestrated in a new creative flow can become uniquely memorable, delightful music.
Creatively barrow creativity
Look at how creative companies like Google, Toyota, Starbucks, Apple do it. And ask yourself, if I were Google, or Starbucks, how would I go about solving this. Pretend, as if, you were a great creative person you know and process your thoughts as he/she would. Describe the problem as they would, and the perspective they would most likely take.
Thompson's ideas or getting ideas are numerous. Pick the one that works for you and use it regularly. He goes beyond just the idea stage and helps you sell it, essential to any business. Great ideas never sold become lame ideas. They must go somewhere to be truly great.
Selling your ideas--make them visible.
"Your vision is a combination of your acquired knowledge, your instincts, and your dreams." To cross the bridge so your ideas have influence, your "vision bridge" needs to be:
1. Directed toward the future
2. Usable today (just 15 minutes ahead of others)
3. Firmly grounded in past successes
(You are in your future, others look to your past.)
4. Stable yet able to respond to a changing environment
5. Well promoted.
Create your cast of characters to assist in putting your ideas on stage for a grand performance... line up the promoters, system designers, implementers, and evaluators.
"Having re-created reality by formulating ideas, we need to reorganize reality in order to make ideas work."
"Be curious, be passionate, and be bold."
Thompson's website for continuing your creative experience:
The core of creativity is Spirit.
In my own devotional life, when in Spirit from reading the Scriptures, contemplation, and prayer, ideas come. It seems when reflecting with Praise and Worship music combined with Scripture reflection, is when I get most ideas. I get thoughts and Words I feel are of Divine origin.
The Word was Jesus. What He taught was life. His words were life. A life-line to God Himself. He was God on earth and His Words were God. They are Spirit, universal principles of Living Power that created the universe to the finest, most massive and microscopic living creatures. The tiniest creation operates with a flawless, most intricately designed system.
"In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone." ( John 1:1-4, NLT)
Spirit is the creator of all things and it knows all things.
All we see and know has been created by Spirit. United in Spirit with God through Jesus, we can connect with an intelligence and Power that passes through the whole universe, through everything and person around us.
"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created
and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can't see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together."
(Colossians 1:15-17, NLT)
We are co-creators in Jesus Spirit.
He is the One who does all things and makes all things... Superiorly excellent.
What kills creative force to working in our lives is judging and pride. Judging kills the Spirit and destroys creative powers of Spirit God wants to work for us. Sometimes the proud and powerful oppose creative, great ideas. Fear not, Spirit can demolish this barrier.
In Amos it says Spirit acts,
"with blinding speed and power He destroys the strong, crushing all defenses."
(Amos 5:9, NLT)
When we fix our thoughts on the potential of God's creative Power
and love to do the impossible through us,
we bring His creative Force in to play.
Flame the fire by zeroing in on the potential of His Spirit through us and others. By supporting others, loving others and building others up, creative forces of His Spirit are lit in us.
So nothing can stand in its way,
when we are working in cooperation with the Spirit of God.
It defeats all its enemies with crushing force.
Jesus Spirit created all things,
will recreate all things.
If Jesus Spirit created all things, both visible and invisible, and controls all things on earth and in the spiritual realms, and His Spirit holds all things together...
What Does This Mean for Us?
When, as you ponder this...
All of Who Jesus was In Spirit, we Are now.
We, in Spirit, can create all things!
We have His Spirit walking along side us and in us.
Walk in this creative Spirit.
Allow Him to express Himself through you.
Your load is light and easy to carry. Spirit does the hard part. You just row with the flow and float in the flow of Spirit that flows through you.
Being part of the most majestic creative Spirit in existence gives us surprisingly unimaginable creative ability.
We live in a WOW state constantly.