There is no bad idea at this stage. Staring at a blank sheet of paper hoping ideas will magically appear is a sure fire way to not come up with any ideas. Instead, try using structured techniques aimed at creating new thought patterns. We have 2 techniques below, but there are MANY others. Often our best ideas come after we think we have run out of them. The goal of this activity is to think of as many ideas as possible in 1 minute. Quantity over quality.
To get yourself or your team warmed up, pick a question unrelated to your industry as a practice. For example:. Think of as many possible solutions wraps, pancakes, pizza, lettuce, waffles, ice cream cones, lunch meat wraps, etc.
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At the end of the minute, ask if there were any fun or surprising ideas that were mentioned. Discuss for a minute. Just one way a company embraced what probably sounded like a crazy idea at first. Now you are warmed up and ready to tackle actual questions or issues your company is facing. This exercise helps us escape from industry constraints and experiences. To get new ideas flowing, we would imagine your accounting firm is a different type of business and explore that through discussion. After some good discussion, try to apply some of the interesting ideas back to your accounting firm.
Instead of having desks and cubicles, is your office set up like a coffee shop for a more relaxing feel? You might find interesting links for example — do your clients tend to be stressed about finances?
The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy: Open Your Mind to Greater Creative Thinking
Is there a way you can make their experience relaxing? Here are a few other great resources on effective brainstorming techniques. Give these techniques a try either by yourself or with your team and let us know what you think.
Sara has been a code junkie since junior high. But for the noninventors among us, are we doing all we can to tap into that innate wellspring of creativity experts say we all possess? Or are we allowing it to lie dormant or, worse yet, to be squashed?
The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy: Open Your Mind to Greater Creative Thinking
With many of us spending so much time commuting, it's not surprising that in Flemings' latest Lemelson-MIT Invention Index study, the most common answer of the 1, surveyed was that they did their most creative thinking while driving. It's hard to tell exactly what triggers that," Flemings says.
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Even though it's that moment that the light bulb goes on -- that moment of inspiration, so to speak -- the mind's been doing a lot before that. Be open to many ideas before settling on one, says Larry Stultz , who chairs the graphic design and advertising department at the Art Institute of Atlanta and teaches a course in conceptual thinking.
Try brainstorming he says, where you write down a number of ideas -- sometimes, 20, 40, even -- before deciding on the best one. Blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. A Wooo may actually have something to do with the section you re reading at that point in time but relate more closely to another section. Then again, it may have almost nothing to do with the matter at hand or even contradict it.
It s there to make you think and give you a quick path to where this tidbit is covered in greater detail. Cheat Notes Another element I ve incorporated to help you process the information more organically is what I call cheat notes. At the end of each section is a quick distillation of most of the major points made in that section.
These cheat notes have a few purposes: 1. When read immediately after you finish each chapter, they help you recap what you ve just read. If you choose to skim some or all of the book in advance of reading, you can use them to take a quick peek into the content of each chapter.
Cheat notes are also an excellent way to review the book at a later time, long after you ve read it, using the triggers to help you navigate to sections you may wish to read again. The Lobotomy Files Sprinkled throughout the book are statements from real people who have undergone our Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy mini case histories, if.
Many have experienced this psychic operation some time ago and have been reaping the benefits for years. Some of these people have chosen to remain anonymous, but I can assure you the statements are theirs. This takes effort and discipline. And, similar to testimonials in diet or fitness books laden with real-world transformations, actual statements from happy DIYL victims give you encouragement in your changeover to a more original, prolific idea generator. In the spirit of Wooo, many of these Lobotomy files are totally random and may have little to do with the chapter in which they appear, but they might steer you toward related reading elsewhere.
Like an asteroid crashing into the ocean, it can cause monumental initial impact and can effect a tidal wave of repercussions for amazing distances for a very long time. Someone had the idea of the wheel. That tidal wave is still cresting and causing impact today. Of course, not all ideas are quite so magnificent or recognized as world-changing events. Take that simple little fastener device called the button.
Who had that idea? I don t know, but that concept has surely had a great, long-lasting impact on almost everyone on this planet. I bet that if I counted the wheels and buttons in my life I would find that the button plays as important a role keeping my pants up as the wheel getting me to the airport.
When you come up with a new idea, big or small, think about its potential long-term effect. How good is that idea? Will it have a positive, lasting impact? Will it blast through the atmosphere and fizzle before splashdown? Will it change things affirmatively and irrevocably?
A great idea can make a company Xerox, 3M, Volkswagen. It can make an industry computers, automobiles, aerospace. It can. A second? Maybe two? Again, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't take a great deal of time to execute an idea, either. At least not that long compared to the ongoing life of an idea.
This is a whole different story. There's the original idea in its fundamental form. Then there's the various permutations of the original idea during its early phases, often just minor modifications of the core idea. And then there are the subsequent generations of the idea that might look and feel quite different from the granddaddy, but would not be in existence without it.
The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy
Timeline of a great idea. Of course, some careers spawn companies and industries. Or is it the other way around? All because of an idea? A computer that s easy to use. An airline that s inexpensive. A store that sells virtually the same things everyone else sells, but is defined by customer service.
Of course, not all great ideas live forever.
Actually, a good many of them enjoy an even greater afterlife when they finally do die. An afterlife in the form of subsequent generations of ideas that would not have been born if not for the genetic coding of the original idea. For example, an idea like rockabilly is totally overshadowed by its offspring, rock n roll. There s also the afterlife where an idea lives on not because it is still viable, but because it is recognized as having made a big impact in its time an idea like the great pyramids of Egypt.
Although in some cases the idea is long since deceased, its spirit may live on and inspire others to come up with equally grand ideas totally unrelated to this now dead but revered concept. Even the lasting ideas are not all huge, industry-breeding, direction-changing concepts. One idea that comes to mind from a project I was involved with early on in my marketing career is the universal orthotic insert we see in so many shoes these days.
This idea emerged from the mind of a very creative podiatrist, Dr. Rob Roy McGregor, who designed the first running shoe developed under the Etonic brand during the s running boom. Initially called the single-unit heel and arch support, this device adapted the concept of the orthotic, an individually prescribed rigid device worn in shoes to correct pronation and foster proper heel plant, and turned it into a universal performance mechanism that is in virtually all quality athletic footwear today, as well as in many nonathletic shoes.
A big idea that changed things, possibly forever, if only in a narrow, underappreciated area, Dr. McGregor s concept proved to be immortal. Even if immortality is not your goal, you must be mindful that an idea has a life and an afterlife. A great idea can continue to deliver value for years beyond its initial inception. Whether or not you personally reap all of the rewards of this idea, you must know that you have created a living thing that will have an impact, help others, maybe generate income and livelihoods for generations to come.
That is a great reward.