Think back to the last time you were stuck and needed to brainstorm solutions to a challenge. Were you sitting in a conference room with your colleagues eager to engage?
Probably not. You were most likely staring at your computer, alone, with your arms crossed and teeth clenched. That’s not the easiest context in which to get the creative juices flowing, but unfortunately, it’s probably the way you have to most of the time.
To help you out, I have compiled some creative thinking strategies that will help you conduct your own one-person brainstorming session. I’ve also added some divergent thinking techniques to overcome your lack of diverse participants.
The Question is the Answer
“The answer to any problem preexists. We need to ask the right question to reveal the answer.”
—Dr. Jonas Salk, inventor of polio vaccine
Bingo! We don’t find, create or invent creative solutions—we reveal them by asking questions. Thus, the way to solve difficult problems is to ask more questions.
About Chic Thompson
Chic Thompson is author of What a Great Idea! and Yes, but… He is a Batten Fellow of Entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Founding Fellow of OpenGrounds at UVA and adjunct faculty at The Brookings Institution. Harvard Business School wrote a case on his speaking career entitled, What a Great Idea! For more information, go to www.whatagreatidea.com.
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