Get workers’ brains ticking

Need something new? Different? Innovative? Here are four ways to charge workers’ creativity so they come up with more fanciful ideas:

• Brainwriting. Gather your employees. Have each person write down one idea, or solution, that he or she wants the group to consider. Then have individuals pass their idea to the next person, who adds his or her own thoughts and suggestions in writing.

Continue until each person receives the paper on which he or she wrote the original idea. Then, as a group, explore and pick the best ideas.

• The worst idea. This technique helps employees overcome “creative performance anxiety.” Each person provides the worst possible idea to a given situation. Bad ideas get employees to see problems in a different way, thus paving the way to come up with breakthrough ideas.

• Mind excursions. Have each participant put him- or herself in the typical day of a target client or customer. Walking in the shoes of a customer helps employees identify feelings, situations, problems, and needs that can lead to new ideas and solutions.

• Great thinkers. This technique requires that participants put themselves in the mind of an innovative thinker, like Mozart or Marie Curie, or a superhero like Batman or Wonder Woman. Participants then approach a concept or problem from the thinker’s perspective. This can result in creative, innovative ideas.  

 

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Matt

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