“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” – Steve Jobs
Here are a few suggestions for thinking more creatively.
- Expose yourself to more stuff (technical term) that is way outside your comfort zone.
- Start a blog. Write 500 words on your work every day and post them. Nobody has to read your blogs for you to benefit. Writing them – not people reading them – is the part that matters.
- Spend a lot of time alone and quietly. Road trips work; so does scheduling time throughout the year for creative retreats. Tom and I get together twice a year to do this. More frequently, we often will schedule time on a Friday afternoon to brainstorm. During these Friday calls, anything goes. We call it “blue skying.”
- Brainstorm. Gather your team together and brainstorm ideas for 45 to 60 minutes; the only rule is that there are no bad ideas. Tom and I call this part of our creative process thrashing. When we thrash out ideas, we both understand that we’re just trying to get stuff out, to get some momentum going.
We don’t interrupt each other or ourselves by pointing out that a certain idea is a bad one or the wrong one. Later, post-thrash, when we sift through it all and decide where we are going to invest our resources, THAT’S when we say, “Wow man, this is a horrible idea.” But during the thrashing phase, just jam it all out. Bad ideas lead to better ideas. Thrash.