How Good Are You at Creative Thinking?

Highly creative people are good at seeing connections. By enhancing your ability to see connections, you can enhance your creativity.
— Dorte Nielsen
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When faced with challenges that call for new thinking, how can you come up with fresh ideas, providing breakthrough thinking and innovative solutions? You can train your brain and learn how to make connections, increasing your creative thinking. The Creative Thinker’s Exercise Book by Dorte Nielsen & Katrine Granholm is a good way to start this. It’s full of techniques to promote new connections.

A couple of examples from the book are:

1. A Chain of Words

Try to create a chain of words by thinking of words that can go in front of or behind a given word to create new meaning. The word you add in front doesn’t have to connect with the word you write behind.

For example,

Hot Dog Food        or            Fair Game Over                or            Snow Man Overboard

Playing with connections between words stimulates your ability to think creatively.

2. Contradictions

Explain the meaning of two contrasting ideas using an object. The object must be connected to each idea.

For example, if the object is a snowman.

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But how do you apply this newly learned skill to developing your business, either solving problems or seizing opportunities? When you are in your office, how do you stop the same old answers to the same old questions?

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
— John Maynard Keynes

To make your creative thinking useful, you need a process. A process that allows you to capture your new ideas and choose which best suits your current situation, quickly.

Disruption and increased competition are the new norms. But is your company creative enough to survive disruption? Innovation and creative thinking are becoming essential skills to the success and sustainability of a company. Do you have a process to encourage and capture creativity in your company?

Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. It is a process; it’s not random.
— Ken Robinson