Developing Your Innovative Thinking Skills
Ever wonder how “they” thought of that idea or what it takes to be more innovative? Here’s a sure-fire method to help you develop your Innovative Thinking Skills.
Grab a pen or pencil and a few sheets of paper; this is an interactive article! Let’s begin.........
First of all believe that you are innovative! Let me assure you that whether you believe that you are or, that you are not, you’re probably right. To help establish a real belief in your ability, think back on some of the innovative things you have done, said or created during your career.
Next, understand that when our thinking takes on a definite form and structure it becomes more effective. While I am suggesting that all readers follow the same step-by-step format, you’ll find that because of your own uniqueness, tastes and life experiences you will each develop your own innovative solutions, even when the questions are the same.
Step one: State the question, problem or dilemma clearly. Write it out at the top of your worksheet.
Step two: List many, varied and unusual possible answers to your question or solutions to your problem. Do not pre-judge or edit your ideas. List everything (everything!).
Step three: Review your list and group your ideas/answers into categories. For example: hats, t-shirts and socks are all different but all are wearable. Apples, mugs, bagels and forks are different, yet all relate to food or eating. Any ideas/answers that do not fit into a category with anything else on your list, are the most unique.
Step four: Take the best or most unique ideas/answers and elaborate on them to make them truly extraordinary. You can do this by combining two ideas, consider using or doing your idea in a totally new and different way, look at it upside down or backwards, and be outrageous! Add to them, diminish them, change the color or shape, turn it inside out (get the idea?).
Before you begin, it is essential to shift to “right brain” thinking. The right side of our brain is where we do our imaginative, emotional and visual thinking. You can make the shift by bringing humor to your mind (read the funnies or listen to your favorite comic), try some brain teasers (create your own: list all things you can
think of that are different shades of green or what other uses are there for a wristwatch, other than a time instrument?), listen to music, play with your kids or play like a kid.
Don’t be afraid to take risks! New answers are what lead to excellence and that is what Innovative Thinking is all about. Don’t be afraid of failure either. Failure is a sign that someone is doing something! By learning from our failures we get them out of the way and move towards success.
Remember that by simply approaching a problem, question or dilemma in a new way, we will usually come up with answers or solutions that are new as well. Giving ourselves the opportunity to see a vast array of possible solutions or answers and then categorizing them to find the most unique, enables us to develop the innovations we seek.
Good Luck & Have Fun!