How to come up with great ideas, again and again!

July 13, 2017

I have good news and bad news!

 
The good news is…Yes, there is a method to it!

 

The bad news…No, there is no shortcut!

 

But there are some tips I can share to make it easier to consistently come up with creative ideas.

I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity of working with some amazing people. From that, and having to come up with creative ideas day in day out for the last 14 years has taught me some valuable lessons.

Do the work!

GIGO | Genius in-Genius out, garbage in-garbage out, said Abdulkarim

Getting all the basics right is a must. You have to have clearly defined

  • Objectives

  • Background

  • KPI

  • Any other information that common sense tells you is a must

Then, do the work! Write it down, re-write for clarity, align with all stakeholders. No shortcuts here!

 
Your Mindset is Key

Don’t solve problems, go on a DISCOVERY!

Resist the temptation to use logic to jump to conclusions. Technical problem solving skills are useless here. Imagination and lateral thinking is useful. Remember, there is no track, so going off track is not possible.

If I were to single out one thing that almost always results in wow ideas, it would be… “Get Excited!!!”. I mean, jumping up and down like you won a lottery, crazy child, yelling, gesture making, excited! I am not sure exactly what happens to the brain, but when you do that, your ability to jump from one thought to another and make connections instantly is amplified!

 
Get used to a thinking  model

There are an unlimited number of thinking frameworks out there. Explore, find one that is SIMPLE enough for you. Remember, models don’t work, motivated people make them work!

I personally follow something simple called Mind-mapping! I have almost evolved it into a new method that I like to call, “Directed Distraction”. The name says it all actually, but if you want to know more, drop me a line.

The essence is that you keep exploring multiple directions and keep building on thoughts. DO NOT reject anything or justify anything, just keep building on every thought. No bad ideas, just thoughts that help you move ahead until you arrive at a bunch of ideas that look like they could work!

 
Get a Partner

This is the second most critical element. Doesn’t matter who it is. Better if it is a colleague but not necessary. In fact, an argument can be made that at least one person in all critical brainstorms should be someone completely irrelevant to ensure freshness.

But the key point I am making here is, brainstorm is not about anyone’s point of view, it is about the belief that when multiple minds collide, thoughts are built onto each other and new possibilities emerge through new connections between existing thoughts.

 

These are just some tips that can help you as a creative professional in our ever-changing mediascape.

 

To obtain mastery and get truly world class, you have to work on lots of challenging projects, with amazing people, in an enabling environment and have an awesome mentor.

 

Wish you all the best!

 

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