In a discussion with a client about creativity and how to inspire more of it, I suggested finding ways to spur others to think outside the box and see beyond what one normally sees. I referred them to a book called A Whack On The Side of the Head by Roger von Oech. It’s full of great exercises for stretching your thinking, but I’ll give you just one example here.
How do you turn this:
Into a seven using only one stroke of the pen?
By adding a line as such:
Now, how can you turn this
into a six, again with only one stroke of your pen?
By putting an S in front of it as such:
or by making it an equation like this:
This exercise shows how easy it is to get into a rut. We get complacent looking at something one way. By introducing the “VI into VII” problem, we are drawn into a mindset of Roman numerals, which limits us for the “IX” problem. In order to find creative solutions, we must force ourselves to step back, start over and attack the problems anew. With fresh eyes, we will see new solutions, and that is when creativity and innovation happens.
What problems are you facing that require creative solutions? If you’d like some fresh thinking, give us a call! We’d be happy to help.