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Complex Thoughts

Creativity

A student organization may be able to survive on the same old ideas, the same old projects, events, and programs, however, one needs an influx of new ideas to excel. All of us have the capacity to be creative. Here are some suggestions that may help you rediscover your creative self.

EXPLORE AND DISCOVER RESOURCES YOU CAN USE TO CREATE NEW IDEAS

  • Give yourself a whack on the side of the head — Break out of habitual thought patterns. Jolt your routine.
  • Look Somewhere Else — Venture off the beaten path. You can’t see the good ideas behind you by looking twice as hard at what’s in front of you.
  • Borrow Ideas — Remember, there is no such thing as a totally new idea.
  • Find the Second Right Answer — The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas. Don’t stop with the first right answer you find, look for others.
  • See the Big Picture — What are the larger implications of your idea? How does it fit into the big picture?
  • Expect the Unexpected — Often what we’re looking for leads us to something much different. Columbus was looking for India.
  • See! Hear! Taste! Feel! Smell! — Pay attention to a wide variety of different information. What other senses can you use to develop your idea?
  • Listen to Your Dreams — How can you relate a recent dream to a current problem?
  • Look to Nature — Bell invented the telephone by imitating the ear. What patterns and cycles in nature can you use to develop your ideas?
  • Look to the Past — What ideas from history can you apply to a current project or idea? What were you doing ten years ago that might be useful to you now?
  • Hear the Knock of Opportunity — Where do you hear opportunity knocking? How can you answer it?
  • See the Obvious — What are you overlooking? What resources and solutions are right in front of you?
         

TRANSFORM YOUR RESOURCES INTO NEW IDEAS

  • Use Your Imagination — How can you keep the artist alive in you?
  • Think Something Different — The first person who looked at sawdust and thought compressed fire log did this. What different ways can you think about your idea?
  • Do Something To It — Transform your idea. Break the rules. What creative things can you do to your idea?
  • Ask What If? — What off-beat "what if" questions can you ask about your concept? Such questions will stretch your thinking and lead to new ideas.
  • Be Wacky — Being wacky stimulates your creative juices. What wacky things can you do to your idea?
  • Break the Rules — Challenge the rules and try a different approach.
  • Make Your Own Rules — What new rules can you make up for your idea?
  • Combine Ideas — Gutenberg combined a wine press with a coin punch to create the printing press. What different ideas can you combine?
  • Think Like a Kid — What would a five-year old see if he were looking at your project?
  • Pause for a Bit — What problem are you working on that would benefit from a pause?
       

EVALUATE YOUR IDEA AND DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH IT

  • See the Positive - When you judge new ideas, focus initially on their positive and interesting features. This will counteract a natural and negative bias, and enable you to develop more ideas.
  • Sense What’s Out of Whack — Be critical and sense what’s out of whack with the idea. Why won’t it work? What’s it lacking? What doesn’t feel right about the idea?
  • Ask a Fool — Break the group-think environment by having someone dislodge assumptions and allow you to see things more clearly. What would a fool say about the idea?
  • Check Your Timing — Is the timing right for your new idea?
  • Slay a Sacred Cow — Many rules outlive the purpose for which they were intended. What rule, policy, or way of thinking has been successful in the past but may be limiting you now?
  • Loosen Up — What can you take less seriously?
  • Listen to That Hunch — What hunches do you have about your idea?
  • Flex Your Risk Muscle — Don’t be afraid to try new things.
  • Slay a Dragon — Where does fear hold you back? What dragons can you slay?
  • Don’t Fall in Love with Ideas — If you fall in love with an idea, you won’t see the merits of alternative approaches. What part of your idea are you in love with? Kiss it goodbye!
  • Avoid Arrogance — A little humility can help you steer clear of disaster. Where does ego adversely affect your performance?
  • Trust Yourself — What the world really needs to know is what kind of ideas are in your head. What ideas do you have waiting for expression?
  • Use Good Ideas — A lot of disappointed people have been left standing on the street corner waiting for the bus marked “Perfection.” What good (instead of great) ideas can you use?
        

IMPLEMENTING YOUR IDEA

  • Fight for It — Be a warrior. What are you willing to do to put your idea into action?
  • Map Out Your Plans — Can you visualize yourself reaching your objective?
  • Take a Whack At It — Start now. Go for it. What are five ways you can take a whack at your idea?
  • Be Dissatisfied — Dissatisfaction can be the prod you need to spot potential problems and opportunities.
  • Put a Lion in Your Heart — What gives you the courage to act on your ideas? What puts a lion in your heart?
  • Get Support — It’s much easier to be creative if your environment both supports and expects new ideas.
  • Get Rid of Excuses — What three factors will make it difficult to reach your objective? How can you get rid of these excuses?
  • Have Something At Stake — Survival, self-esteem, money, reputation, whatever — have something at stake so that you’ll be motivated to make your idea successful.
  • Give Yourself a Kick in the Seat of the Pants — Don’t wait for your idea to happen. What are three things you can do to reach your goal?
  • Expect Resistance — What resistance do you expect to your idea? How can you overcome it?
  • Sell, Sell, Sell — How can you make your idea more attractive to other people?
  • Assign a Deadline — What tight deadline can you give yourself?
  • Be Persistent — How persistent are you?
  • Learn from Mistakes — Edison knew 1,800 ways not to build a light bulb.
        

ADAPTED FROM A WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD, A KICK IN THE SEAT OF THE PANTS, AND CREATIVE WHACK PACK, BY ROGER VON OECH

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.