Keeping inspired and working towards that next great idea is something we all want to achieve. An interesting article I read recently from the Fast Company explores the research of Joel Chan and Christian Schunn and the science behind brainstorming, these are some top points from the article:

Research shows that rather than instantly appearing as if from out of nowhere, ideas are the result of massive cognitive leaps. The first idea will spark a new but closely related thought, which in turn will inspire a further idea, sparking a chain that can lead to a breakthrough.

Analogies are a really useful way to prompt this kind of thought process. They are a tool we use all the time without knowing it to make sense of the world around us. As Schunn explains, “Your head is filled with solutions you’ve seen, and analogies are a way of looking through that past history of solutions to say, ‘Well, maybe one of those could work here.”

Put into practice:

  • Don’t start a meeting with ‘today we are going to come up with brilliant ideas’, but instead discuss solutions that have worked from the past.
  • Use analogies to create a framework that helps join thoughts together and come up with new and more creative ideas.
  • Don’t start with examples or potential results as this will frame thoughts and hinder innovation.
  • Beware of incentives as when they are employed, we tend to generate very similar and less creative ideas.

If you or your team need a fresh approach to problem solving or have a tricky business problem they need to find a solution too, try out one day Creative Problem Solving workshop. This course will help you manage and facilitate idea generation sessions and create exciting plans that inspire confidence and forward implementation.

Call Sophie on 0207 269 6990 or email sophie@makehappy.co.uk to find out more.