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An Approach to Cultivate Original & Creative Ideas

Run, swim, ride, row, practice yoga, pilates, dance, drive, read, gym, drink wine, sing, skate, climb a mountain, play golf, walk in the park, cook, play ball with your dog, listen to music, go see a play, doodle!

Whatever it may be, find your way to think about work or a project in your non-work space environment.

Many times we ‘brute-force’ a solution by applying our mind to something. Here, I offer an additional approach, one that has allowed me to develop some of my strongest original and creative ideas for future planning as well as problem solving. The aim is to direct yourself towards an alternative state of processing thoughts, to enter a state of ‘flow’ so to speak. To do this, participate in an activity you enjoy, do it alone, for at least 30 minutes, ideally 60-90 minutes, thus enabling ideas to unravel in a more organic way.

I know it sounds a little shanti shanti, but it’s worth a try! If anything you get to enjoy some personal time with you and thoughts. Here’s a challenge with this in mind.

Few of us can present next years’ strategy to the board with short preparation time. We usually need to build it up, gather data, ponder options and set the right course all while maintaining our regular duties. You know it’s coming, so why wait? Why not begin developing your strategy now by setting up a space where you can continuously allow for your strongest ideas to be recorded and unpacked? Prepare now, have your Evernote, Pinterest app or notebook nearby. Capture your ideas, having spent time thinking about your project in your chosen non-conventional environment. Over time, expand your thoughts, test them and keep the winners. Importantly this is not a precious space. It’s a working space, like Play-Doh.

Finally, don’t forget about your team. Encourage them to work on this too, so they develop their best ideas to support you.

In summary: How is next years’ strategy going to be better than the last? What space, outside of the office, enables your original ideas to develop?

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