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Is there a process for coming up with original ideas?

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Creativity is one of those words that gets bandied about frequently and in my opinion - misunderstood. I have been guilty for most of my life/career for thinking that 'creativity' = 'artistic' and therefore on that basis - I (and a lot of my friends) are certainly not creative!


This is not true of course. The official definition of creativity is 'the use of original imagination or original ideas to create something' and according to the Digital Marketing Institute, developing creative skills can lead to not only the creation of new products and services but also the optimisation of business processes which can lead to that all important business growth and increased revenues.


They also go on to say that in fact anyone can be creative but creative thinking 'doesn't happen by accident' and it certainly 'does not occur in a vacuum.' It needs to be refined and honed and practiced by using these five stages:


Prepare - identify the idea, issue or problem and do your research


Incubate - let the idea percolate in your mind and think about what you have learnt from your research. Do something else whilst you incubate i.e. walk, have a bath, day dream (undertake a workshop with Creative Happenings :))


Illuminate - write your ideas down quickly but 'write it straight and then write it great'


Verify - go back to your original idea and sense check that it is the correct approach. If you find that it isn't in fact the right idea after all - let it go as it could take you down the wrong path and stop you finding other, better ideas. If it works then take time to craft and refine your idea.


Practice - keep practicing your ideas using the above steps.


Also consider what barriers to creativity there might be in your organisation e,g, like the fear of failure. or relying too much on old ideas or established ways of thinking. Take the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and challenge any biases or misperceptions you may have. Think about your ideas from the perspective of your key stakeholders. Even making simple changes to your daily routine such as sitting in a new place in the house can help to improve your creativity.


And finally, don't be disheartened if your shiny, new idea gets rejected. Give space to the person who rejected your idea and ask for clarity and more information on the reasons.


Good luck!





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