Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Innovation Book Club: Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity {Giveaway}

Our book club pick for April is Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity By Keith Sawyer, who has Eight Simple Techniques For Greater Creativity.

Creativity doesn't come from one brilliant idea; it's a way of life. Using Sawyer's techniques, new ideas come every day, leading you always further down the zig-zag path to greater creativity. Try these simple techniques, one for each of Sawyer's eight steps.

Eight Simple Techniques For Greater Creativity

Find the right question
If you're stumped, it's often because you're asking the wrong question. Maybe your question is too narrow and focused, and you just need to think bigger. For example, instead of asking yourself "Should I repair my old car, or buy a new one?" try asking "Can I get a job within walking distance of home?" or "Can I move closer to public transportation?"

Prepare your mind
The most creative people are voracious learners; they dabble in things they know nothing about. Teach yourself something about weaponry, hypnosis, glass blowing, auto repair, Sufi mysticism…

Be aware
Research shows that the most creative people are more likely talk to lots of different people. So try this: Before you attend your next party or social event, choose a color. Then at the event, make a point of meeting and chatting with anyone who's wearing that color.

Free your mind
When you're facing a creative challenge, try to imagine it as a problem in a very different world, like Dentistry; Lawn care; Furniture design; Prison; The Circus. How would your problem look in that world? How would you try to solve it?

Generate ideas
You can increase your ability to generate good ideas by practicing idea generation every day in simple tasks. For example, make a long list of specific facts about how the world would be different: If gravity stopped for one second each day? If there were five sexes? Come up with your own idea challenges as you go through your day. In the kitchen: What if my refrigerator had 20 shelves? Preparing for bed at night: What if people could sleep standing up?

Combine ideas
The best insights come from combining ideas that are completely unrelated. Take out paper and pencil and sketch a piece of furniture that is also a kind of fruit; or, a lampshade that is also a kind of book; or, just pick two words at random by closing your eyes and pointing at different pages in a book, and invent a combination.

Make ideas even better
Once you have a few ideas, take each one of them (even the ones that aren't so great) and list at least three benefits of that idea, and then list at least three practical steps you would have to take to implement the idea. This simple technique often helps you think of ways to make the ideas even better.

Get your ideas into the world
Buy a stack of ten magazines. (Or take some of those old magazines in your dentist's waiting room) Clip out any photos that seem related to your problem, and keep going until you have 50 photos. Use a glue stick and make a collage by sticking them onto a large piece of poster board. Keep the collage near your desk for a couple of weeks, and make sure to look at it each day.

Innovation Book Club: Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity {Giveaway}

On Tuesday, April 23rd Keith will join in on a Q&A session with the FEI LinkedIn community to discuss his ideas and  Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity. You can enter to win a copy below and in the meantime leave your question for him here.


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2 comments:

c2thaj420 said...

Seems like it can help me with my writing

c2thaj420 said...

Seems like it can help me with my writing

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