In today’s world, especially in the realm of innovation and tech, everybody is drawn to neat organization and keeping things nice and tidy. Fortunately for us, there are a myriad of ways to be organized and working without clutter, and at the same time, could foster innovation.
With spring around the corner, I thought it would be festive to introduce several strategies to “spring-clean” your creative skills, helping you solve problems more creatively and helping to make your workplace better.
The Mind Map
Throwing it back to elementary/middle school, there’s a strategy that most of my teachers taught me to use whenever we had a writer’s block. From creative writing to describing a historical event in a term paper more in depth, creating a “mind map” or an “idea tree” was the easiest and most convenient strategy to evolve your idea even more.
There’s no secret behind it. All you have to do is start out with an idea and start branching out to more ideas that relate in some way to the previous one. Before you know it, your very own sapling of an idea has grown up into a Sequoia.
The second strategy may seem a bit childish, but in the long run, you’ll be glad you stuck with this idea. Drawing a sketch of what you and your team are thinking can kick-start your thought processes. It has worked for inventors of the past, who undoubtedly have drawn onto parchment and quill what they initially envisioned and…Presto! In no time they have the blueprint of what they need to make before they create it. The same thing can be said for you and your team. Let out your inner child and see what your ideas can do on paper!
The Odd Couple
The third strategy to get your idea-juices pumping is by drawing up the Odd Couple. For inventors and other innovators alike, the Odd Couple seems to be one of the most interesting and effective strategies out there. For the Odd Couple strategy, you pair two ideas that are unrelated in order to come up with an idea that has combined the two. Examples for the Odd Couple would be: a car/truck that serves coffee, or vitamins in a toothpaste!
The Laundry List
The fourth strategy would be just to brainstorm—whatever comes into your mind that’s related to the task at hand, you write down. Draw up an outline, create one of those yarn webs that you see in a crime movie, write on sticky notes…all of the greatest inventors of all time have started out by storming their brains for ideas!
The Quiet Space
The fifth and final strategy that I can suggest in order for you to “spring-clean” your creative side, is to remove you and your team from the utter clutter and noise that’s going on in the office and seek asylum in a quiet and serene room. Scientists don’t need to tell you that the background noise of your everyday world may interfere with your ever-growing creativity.
Here’s to spring and creativity!
-Nicholas P. Saichin
February 29th, 2016