Creativity can be hard sometimes. So here is a simple way to be more creative.
by Caroline Roodhouse
“Creativity is just connecting things.” - Steve Jobs.
Connecting the dots is an incredibly effective way to think more creatively.
Let’s take a typical comms challenge.
You’ve relaunched your intranet and you need to increase usage. You need to create a campaign that’ll be a winner and will be talked about by all the right people.
You’ve tried this sort of thing before.
It didn’t work very well. Figures were limp.
You need a fresh approach, a creative twist.
Something that will land differently, spike interest and take hold.
All this, and there’s just you.
You need to make different connections
There’s a shedload of advice out there on ‘how to be more creative.’ But in a world where you don’t have time to read your emails, it’s unlikely you’ve got time to explore the ins and outs of creative thinking.
In our creativity workshops we share some of the most accessible methods around for taking on a challenge with a more creative approach. And here’s one of the best.
Try the random words technique
The random words technique is about pushing your mind to a different place. A place it wouldn’t naturally travel to. It’s not designed to provide the answers but to encourage a new way of thinking.
And it goes like this:
1. Define your challenge
2. Generate two random words using a random words generator
3. Explore your challenge using those random words
By pushing your thinking further, your mind explores new territory
Remember: you’re not looking for realistic solutions here. You’re exploring a different way, from an unconventional perspective - so don’t suppress raw thoughts or ‘silly ideas’.
Let’s try it out using our earlier example.
1. Challenge: increase usage following a relaunch of the intranet.
2. Random words generated: hypnotic and lights.
3. Thoughts explored: Lighting the path to success, stardom, Aurora, Derren Brown, crystal balls, telling the future, accessing another realm, understanding how people behave in this futuristic world where you can control thoughts and behaviours, and so on…
When your mind has explored the obvious, do it again
Using the same random words, explore your challenge again, but push the boundries further. Reach uncharted territory that, without those two words, you wouldn’t otherwise have explored. Then leave those thoughts to circulate in your mind. You’ll be surprised where they will end up.
Practice, practice, practice
By practicing this technique, you’ll teach your brain to become more proficient at problem-solving, you’ll naturally start to think more creatively and you’ll come up with ideas that will make a difference.
When you need to add fresh ideas to a project, the random words technique is a great place to start the creative ball rolling and to strike on that elusive twist you’re in need of.
Caroline Roodhouse is content manager at Alive With Ideas who are talented and bright enough to be sponsoring and supporting commscamp.
Picture credit: AJ / Flickr