How can I produce creative ideas

Get more creative: 7 clever tricks

Creativity has a good image. Those who are creative have lots of ideas, find better solutions, and sometimes think outside the box. But some believe that it only affects certain people who are creative, others are not. Not correct! Everyone can get more creative. Creativity only has to do with talent and disposition to a limited extent. Quite often there are certain behaviors and techniques behind it that promote creativity. We present a few of these tricks here ...

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Get more creative: definition of creativity

Creativity - the term describes a skill that is important in all professions. According to Wikipedia, the property is defined as follows:

The term creativity goes back to the Latin word “creare”, which means something like “create something new, invent something, create something, manufacture something”, but also has the connotation of “choose”. The term also contains the Latin "crescere", which means "happening and growing" as a further root. This double facet of creativity between active doing and passive letting happen can also be found in modern creativity concepts.

Creativity is therefore a way to combine information and thoughts and create something new from them. Interestingly enough, heard excessive Analyze and criticize not in addition - although many people (especially in Germany) feel that it is.

Don't get us wrong: The critical-analytical view is extremely important because it prevents mistakes. But it also often stands in the way of creativity - especially at the beginning of the creative process. Just think of creativity techniques like the Disney method or the DeBono hats: both have the role of the critic, but the critic is only allowed to evaluate the idea when the actual creation process has been completed.

Think creatively instead of critically: 3 questions to think differently

  1. What for?

    When something goes wrong, most of them are quick to analyze and ask: Why? However, it is more productive and future-oriented to look ahead, not to put yourself at the center of what has happened and to ask about the purpose. Such a person does not ask why, but rather: What for?

  2. How?

    Where there's a will, there's a way; Who does not want something, finds reasons. Critics tend to deny that advocatus diaboli to play. Of course, once you are against it, you don't have to prove that it is still possible. If Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison or the Wright brothers had thought that way, we wouldn't fly today, sit in the dark and would be poorer by many works of art. In short: either you are part of the solution - or you are part of the problem.

  3. Why not?

    For most people, innovations pose a threat because they break with traditions and question habits they have cherished. Those affected then ask: What is the point of this? Why should we change that? You see things and ask: Why then? But if you have a vision, want to be more creative and make a difference, ask: Why not?

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7 tips on how to get more creative

The following Tips and Tricks have proven themselves in practice and can noticeably promote creative thinking. They primarily pursue two goals:

  1. You can End creative lulls and periods of drought and break down entrenched thought patterns. For example, you can break out of a conceptual dead end, overcome writer's block or take on a new perspective.
  2. With regular implementation, you can Increase your creativity in the long term and make better use of your creative potential. If you apply the tips regularly, you will develop more ideas.

However, the following also applies here: You will only achieve your full potential if you follow the recommendations apply regularly and repeat. A little Patience and perseverance are therefore necessary.

  1. Write morning pages

    This method is recommended by many authors, writers, and artists. The American bestselling author Tim Ferris, for example, uses them regularly. Mark Twain is said to have used it as well. And this is how it works: sit down in the morning, ideally before reading e-mails or doing anything else, and write at least one A4 page - by hand. Free writing is used to organize and stimulate your thoughts. It's not about putting certain content on paper. The only goal is to clear your head and stimulate your creativity in the morning.

  2. Free association

    Are you stuck with a problem, stuck and just can't find a way out? Then take a mental step back, take another piece of paper and collect - similar to a brainstorming session - all the terms that come into your head about the situation and the topic. Whether you do this in the form of a mind map (see graphic), on a flipchart or on a tablet PC is entirely up to you.



    A close relative of this technique is the so-called Osborn method. It is based on a series of questions designed to generate new ideas.

  3. Backward analysis

    This technique can also solve mental blocks - but by bridling the horse from behind: Forget the problem for a moment and sketch the result of your work, for example the successful completion of the project. Then work your way backwards through the various work steps and phases from this result step by step - also with colleagues, if you like, until you arrive at the current problem. So you can take a new perspective on the problem and find completely different, new solutions.

  4. Creative walk

    This exercise combines two tricks to get more creative: movement and visualization. Take a walk and take advantage of prominent buildings, trees, or other opportunities to visualize different aspects of a problem. Consciously include the environment and try to incorporate distinctive features and objects into the visualization. You will be amazed at the ideas that develop from it.

  5. Think childlike

    A childish (not childish!) Point of view primarily serves to resolve prejudices and traditional thinking. Behind this is a mental reset switch, with which you set everything to zero: Question all established processes, take nothing as set and ask (apparently) naively: Why is that? Does it really have to be that way - or can it be eliminated?

  6. Leave your comfort zone

    Literally this time. Those who only work in the same environment and under the same framework conditions are less and less likely to come up with new ideas. You should therefore consciously go to unknown (creative) places. This can also mean taking a different (new) route to work in the morning or using different stairs and corridors to get to work in the office.

  7. Use daydreams

    A nap or a power nap are not your thing? Your boss wouldn't understand that either? Then use your breaks or a few quiet minutes for so-called daydreaming: Let go of your thoughts and wander. Daydreams are primarily a kind of balancing mechanism of the brain that ensures that the body's own resources and capacities are used correctly. Because if you spend too long on a task, you steer your thinking into a tunnel and cause mental blindness. The fresh air of free association is missing. When daydreaming, however, the brain is given the time and freedom it needs to link information and thus mutate into the nucleus for good ideas.

How to turn frustration into creativity

In order to be more creative, however, we also have to feel comfortable. frustration is a very bad prerequisite. We think. But we think wrong.

Wendy Berry Mendes and Modupe Akinola from Harvard University set up a series of tests back in 2008. Your starting question was: Could it be that creativity is set free in a person when he has a unpleasant encounter or when he is confronted with an unsightly interpersonal situation?

So the researchers simulated a few Job interviews, in which you gave the supposed applicants some unpleasant feedback: Sometimes the interviewer yawned demonstratively, at other times he rolled his eyes or let go of a harsh comment.

Of course there were also groups with positive feedback and a control group. As all three groups of participants, however, subsequently Creative tasks those who were previously frustrated did the best. They now threw all their energy into the scales and turned their frustration into artistic fireworks. They played Steroid hormones a crucial role.

For the why have Mendes and Akinola multiple theories:

  • The damning verdict might have led the contestants to do so yet to work harder on yourselfto subsequently falsify the weak feedback.
  • Or it had caused her to think even more deeply, to go inside, to practice self-reflection, which stimulated her creative work all the more.

Geir Kaufmann from the Norwegian Business School had put it similarly: “A positive mood can lead to a less cautious approach when you have a task ahead of you,” writes the Norwegian in “The Effect of Mood on Creativity in the Innovative Process ”, a chapter in“ The International Handbook on Innovation ”. “In short, a positive mood leads to things being processed more comprehensively, but more superficially. A negative mood leads to the fact that one processes it more narrowly but more profoundly. "

Either way: The observations contradict the common notion that you can only in comfort mode can deliver creative top performances. It is not uncommon the exact opposite the case.

Become more creative: Exclusion can inspire

The Johns Hopkins University even came to the conclusion in a 2012 study that too social exclusion promote creativity. “For people who already feel isolated by the crowd, social exclusion can happen some form of confirmation says Professor Sharon Kim of Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. “Rejection confirms what they already know about themselves, namely that they are not like the others. These people see it more as an award that makes them even more creative. "

This knowledge may also be useful for companies: the most creative mind may not be Everybody’s darling, but rather the stubborn free spirit or the solitary nerd. “We find that there is a growing concern in society about the negative consequences of social exclusion, including through media reports of bullying in schools, in the workplace and online. It is obvious that mobbing reprehensible and not good. What we have tried to show, however, is that something positive can also arise from it when someone, as long as it is an independently thinking person, excluded from a group will, ”says Kim.

The British journalist Tim Harford also pointed out in his TED Talk that our gut feelings sometimes lead us on the wrong track. When it tells us instinctively that above all the framework conditions have to be right in order to be more creative and successful. “I think we need to focus more on the unexpected benefits of being in trouble,” says Harford. Situations that annoy, frustrate, pull down are often more like that creative catalysts.

What creatives hate more than anything

However, creativity cannot be prescribed at the push of a button. There are no dates for great ideas. A meeting that is exhausted for ideas is often the wrong setting for creative flashes of inspiration. To make matters worse, many superiors have Underestimate the effort of creativity and not acknowledge. An attitude that offends creative people - and blocks new ideas.

To encourage creativity among employees and a Establish corporate culture, in which ideas are an important part, some employers have to rethink:

  1. Creativity cannot be forced.

    At work there are appointments and deadlines and sometimes things have to be settled relatively quickly. But the brilliant idea cannot be forced. Give creative processes sufficient time if the best possible results are to be achieved.

  2. Creativity is no less important than other tasks.

    Hardly anything can rob creative employees of their motivation as quickly as the sentence: Now you're getting back to the right things. If a boss gives his employees the feeling that the generation of ideas is only a minor matter, every drive is lost, the quality of the new impulses decreases and ingenuity comes to a standstill.

  3. It takes appreciation for creativity.

    Good ideas cannot be taken for granted and should not be treated as such by bosses. The incentive that is needed not only to work out your own ideas, but also to present them to the boss and colleagues can only be obtained through appropriate appreciation and positive feedback. If a good idea is simply ignored or dismissed, it will probably be the last idea an employee presented.

[Photo credit: Doppelganger4 by Shutterstock.com]

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January 17, 2021Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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