How to generate new ideas
Our curiosity about the world and our discovery skill, so sharp in
childhood, get dulled by education, work cultures and supervisors that tell us not
to ask complicated questions, not to take time to look around and not to try
something new for the fear of messing up. But every active adult needs to get new
ideas. We all have got to figure out how to do our jobs and how to do it
better. Here are five hints on how to inspire yourself to generate new ideas.
Hint no.1: Ask
Take a few minutes each day to write down questions about issues
that you have. It could be anything related to advancing in your career, changing
processes in your organisation, or a new approach to an old task. The point is,
the more questions you ask yourself, the more ideas you will have about how to
solve different challenges.
Hint no.2: Seek
You need to be fully engaged with your world if you want to be
innovative. So turn off your iPad, put down your daily newspaper and give
yourself a chance to be present and connect with the world around you. You may
be surprised by what is going on.
Hint no.3: Watch and
Observing what is happening around you is a crucial part of
discovery. Take the time to look at how things happen, and watch those who do
things differently than you. Try networking with people of different
nationalities, industries or educational backgrounds, they might offer you a fresh
Hint no.4: Role-play
Try a role-play alone or with others in your team and imagine how
an innovative company like Apple or Facebook would view your problem or organisation.
What questions would be asked and how might the answers be approached?
Hint no.5: Exercise
Exercising associative thinking - drawing connections between
questions, problems, or ideas from unrelated fields -can be fun. Try to
force the most surprising, unrealistic associations by, for example, picking a
word randomly from a dictionary or magazine and saying "what does that word
have to do with our problem?"