The secret to creativeness is to begin with good problems. Then you need to turn those problems into challenging challenges. After that, dandy ideas will almost fabricate themselves.
Almost every creative thought is a potential answer to a problem. Einstein’s theory of relativity was about working out a discrepancy between electromagnetism and physics. Post-its were about discovering a use for not very sticky glue. Picasso’s cubistic paintings were about working out the problem of mapping cubic space on flat canvases. And so forth and so forth.
Before you even consider generating ideas, you need to turn your trouble into a challenge. Because, if you begin yielding ideas to solve the wrong trouble, you may have dandy ideas, 55 – but they’ll probably be crappy solutions.
Most people, when they have troubles, they straightaway seek solutions, sparing nary a thought for the trouble itself. Creative individuals know better. They begin by examining the problem and turning it into an originative challenge.
The better way to get going on turning your trouble into a challenge is by putting down your problem on a sheet of paper. Now, try and break the trouble down. Ask yourself “Why is this a problem?”, “What is inducing this?”, “What is behind this?”, “What additional matters are at stake?” And so forth. Ask “why?” till you are able to no longer answer yourself. Write all of your replies on the sheet of paper. At this stage, the core problem as well as key crucial issues will be manifest. Let’s call this the big problem.
A challenge like “require income” isn’t truly clear and is likely to result in thoughts that are not really clear. Make your challenges clear to everybody.
When you have got your challenge, you’ll discover it outstandingly easy to bring forth ideas that solve it. But before you begin brainstorming, there are a couple of matters you should bear in mind.
Yield ideas first. Nothing more. Only after you’ve finished yielding ideas should you even consider reviewing them and select which one(s) to follow up.
When yielding ideas, whether alone or in a group, disallow any criticism whatever. Furthermore, it’s essential that you make note of every idea regardless how silly, daft or unimaginable it may seem. The dizziest ideas are occasionally the most originative and often highly inspirational.
Don’t quit at the first idea that springs to mind. The first beneficial idea that springs to mind is seldom the most creative – mostly because it’s nearly always the most conspicuous. Better to yield lots of ideas and then decide which thoughts to select.
Thus the mystery to yielding great ideas is to start with a big challenge. Then yield, return, generate ideas.