26 Replies
Nick n/a

@John,

I've heard that sitting on the desk doesn't work for idea generation.

Driving a car, cooking, swimming or other exercise outside of that area seem to all help generate ideas.

As a freelancer it might be easier to generate ideas as you can manage your own time.

@Sid the internet can be useful if you don't fall for the 'filter bubble' effect.

But for those in certain organisations they may allow the freedom or create the right environment for ideas...

Phil Mayor

Most of my inspiration comes from other places, my last freebie came from a website Bruce told me to visit.

I take pictures of shop fronts whilst I am out, I collect brochure that I have seen I bookmark web pages I like.  I love looking at how the news and channel indents are done.

I also read a lot, my current work book is "Seductive Interaction design".

Inspiration is everywhere it is about capturing it.

Bruce Graham

Creativity comes anywhere. The more you seek it, the more you get it, and the more you can do it.

Creativity is not just "one thing" - there are many forms and types of creativity. The main problem is that many places stifle it.

For example - "brainstorming".

Many people see that as a way to be "creative" in business, but what happens in reality is that people turn up and rely on others to come up with ideas. I call that "brain-stalling".

Make people turn up with as many ideas as they can BEFORE you start the session - and it gets REALLY creative.

I am just about to start building a eLearning series on Creativity for a highly experienced lecturer/trainer on the subject - so I may be able to share more ideas in March/April!

Bruce Graham

Nicholas Ostheimer said:

I wasn't sure of the demand for creativity in certain positions and if there was a specific need to come up with ideas on location/demand.

Yes - constantly.

When I am working with new clients, if I feel it is appropriate I "pre-seed" creativity ideas with them prior to first visit, maybe suggest a way of developing things, perhaps an alternative to what we have talked about. This prepares them, and makes the whole "creativity" conversation easier to have, it can reduce that "Go on then...be creative!" conversation.

I prefer more "informal" ways of engaging clients rather than a pre-set checklist, as I find it makes the whole creativity thing easier, (even tho' the checklist is in my head).

I have just finished a very short cartooning piece that started off with a relatively "ho hum.." script, and ended up being a Monty Python homage, where a burst of the "Hallelujah chorus" played every time a key word was said in the voiceover

That was just an (office-based) set of email exchanges - they absolutely LOVED the final product. In that instance I was a little worried I had been OVER-creative, but we live in a risk-reward world, and it paid off. Sitting at a desk can be fine.

Do not look for places for creativity to happen, the only place you need to look is inside yourself.

Phil Mayor

No, I don't have a specific folder my whole job is about creativity, I have pockets of creativity/inspiration everywhere in my office. If I see something I like I build a demo.  Often I find I wake up with a creative idea and then build it before starting work. 

I prefer to to realse my ideas into a tool as soon as possible. 

Nancy Woinoski

Nicholas Ostheimer said:

Maybe building a memory palace would suit creative ideas better.

Nicholas


Not really sure what you mean by a memory palace but I think the point is that creativity comes from all over the place and people have many different ways to channel that creativity. Saying one way is better than another is, IMHO, tantamount to stifling creativity.

Bruce Graham

Nancy Woinoski said:

Nicholas Ostheimer said:

Maybe building a memory palace would suit creative ideas better.

Nicholas


Not really sure what you mean by a memory palace but I think the point is that creativity comes from all over the place and people have many different ways to channel that creativity. Saying one way is better than another is, IMHO, tantamount to stifling creativity.


Hi Nancy,

A "Memory Palace" is a way of storing information in your memory (there's a surprise...), or more specifically, of retrieving it. I have used this with some degree of success for years now, as it links into one of the techniques for self-hypnosis I used for years very closely. Linking the two techniques is an interesting experience!

In essence:

1. Think of a place you know well, like your house for example.

2. Plan a trail around your house that you can follow easily

3. Drop-off/store items, thoughts, or what ever at those points.

4. When you need to - wander around your target location, visualising and retrieving the articles, then bringing them back to your consciousness.

5. You may have to add extra places to store things as the number of things to be stored and retrieved gets bigger - it may turn into a palace.

The technique was recently (and brilliantly) highlighted in the Sherlock series shown in the UK, so no doubt there will be a flurry of "Memory Palace Made Easy!" and "The 10 Secrets to building your Memory Palace" articles/blogs showing up in the near future

Memory Palace is an ancient technique, but it requires some SERIOUS practice and dedication, strong visualisation skills and perseverance. It is unrelated per se to the CREATION of creative ideas IMHO, however, it is a way to STORE and RETRIEVE them once you have the idea.

Depending on how busy you are, a folder or some sort of digital document storage may be simpler, quicker and more accessible

Phil Mayor

Nancy Woinoski said:


Not really sure what you mean by a memory palace but I think the point is that creativity comes from all over the place and people have many different ways to channel that creativity. Saying one way is better than another is, IMHO, tantamount to stifling creativity.


Totally agree!

Nick n/a

@Nancy,

I agree with your point. I wasn't aiming to say any method is better than any other. A better way for me personally means an alternative way. As in X number of alternative ways. Whichever works for the individual.

That's why I started this thread with the question: Where do you come up with your creative ideas?

To see how different people have different approaches..

I have looked at creating a memory palace years ago in order to learn many different languages and cultural aspects but the effort/time isn't on my list of priorities. It's just something I'd like to do in my lifetime.

@Bruce makes the point:

''Depending on how busy you are, a folder or some sort of digital document storage may be simpler, quicker and more accessible ''Yes, and I am extremely busy as I'm sure everyone is so having a digital library performs a pretty good function for me personally.

I'm sure others have different methods. We're all unique individuals.

I had the creative idea in making my digital library. I didn't read about it and certainly no-one else told me about it.

Nicholas

Nancy Woinoski

Bruce Graham said:

Nancy Woinoski said:

Nicholas Ostheimer said:

Maybe building a memory palace would suit creative ideas better.

Nicholas


Not really sure what you mean by a memory palace but I think the point is that creativity comes from all over the place and people have many different ways to channel that creativity. Saying one way is better than another is, IMHO, tantamount to stifling creativity.


Hi Nancy,

A "Memory Palace" is a way of storing information in your memory (there's a surprise...), or more specifically, of retrieving it. I have used this with some degree of success for years now, as it links into one of the techniques for self-hypnosis I used for years very closely. Linking the two techniques is an interesting experience!

In essence:

1. Think of a place you know well, like your house for example.

2. Plan a trail around your house that you can follow easily

3. Drop-off/store items, thoughts, or what ever at those points.

4. When you need to - wander around your target location, visualising and retrieving the articles, then bringing them back to your consciousness.

5. You may have to add extra places to store things as the number of things to be stored and retrieved gets bigger - it may turn into a palace.

The technique was recently (and brilliantly) highlighted in the Sherlock series shown in the UK, so no doubt there will be a flurry of "Memory Palace Made Easy!" and "The 10 Secrets to building your Memory Palace" articles/blogs showing up in the near future

Memory Palace is an ancient technique, but it requires some SERIOUS practice and dedication, strong visualisation skills and perseverance. It is unrelated per se to the CREATION of creative ideas IMHO, however, it is a way to STORE and RETRIEVE them once you have the idea.

Depending on how busy you are, a folder or some sort of digital document storage may be simpler, quicker and more accessible


Interesting. I see how this could be a good memory techinque once mastered but agree with you that is has nothing to do with the creation of ideas (creative or otherwise). On another note I have seen season 1 and 2 of Sherlock but don't remember the memory palace at all so maybe it is a technique I need to work on

David Price

Quite an interesting read this thread

I have a number of techniques but most of them involve searching the internet.  As I am a web designer as well I spend a lot of time researching other peoples websites for "inspiration" for my designs.  I do the same with eLearning but as there is a lack of examples on the web I tend to scour Slideshare a lot to see how people have put PowerPoint presentations together, and then use those as a basis for my design ideas.

Normally I just use Google though, pop an idea into the search box and see what comes up in images.  Then using related images I may see something that inspires an idea and leads me off a different route.  I then take snippets from each good one I see and build my design around them.  I also use a thesaurus and see what other words describe what I am trying to do.  I then good image search those other terms.

So other resources I find handy:

http://www.deviantart.com

http://dribbble.com/

http://www.templatemonster.com/ (more for websites but it gives me good ideas for design)

Sad to say though most of my ideas come when I am led in bed at night trying to get to sleep.  Keeps me awake when I come up with a good idea so I always keep my iPad handy to jot down anything I think of.

Nick n/a

Thanks David, Nancy, John, Sid, Phil and Bruce,

I've gotten a better idea of ''Where do you come up with your creative ideas?'' from the answers in the thread.

My main reason for starting the thread was to understand better how employees, freelancers, business owners could come with creative ideas on demand and how generating those ideas applies to the organisation/business they work in.

I'm not sure of the necessity for generating creative ideas in a large organisation. Does it translate into money gained or lost for the org?

Not being creative for the sake of it.

I would think that this would depend on the job role or the company but I look forward to other comments.

Nicholas

john faulkes

What tends to give the impression that large companies don't need creativity, is that although they do eventually get taken over it can take a long time.

Companies also may benefit from people within them who are highly pro-active and self-starting. Thus there is innovation going on but it may not be overtly referred to as such. However many of them don't do enough to engage the quiet ones, frequently an untapped source. And it is available pretty much on demand. One has to create the open environment, ask open questions and listen.

Phil Mayor

Some companies actively foster creativity, Google are famous for their 20% time (although this now needs managers discretion), 3M had their 15% time, Facebook, Apple, Linkedin, Twitter all have something similar.

Innovation is the lifeblood of some companies and a good company will find a way to harness and exploit this.

Nick n/a

That's what makes, in all companies, the difference, (certainly in the ones I have worked in).

I'm using the term 'organisations' to cover companies and other orgs such as the British Heart Foundation.

An example for a creative idea could be for an outsourced job aid by a freelancer for WWF or such.

Unless those freelancers and business owners here only work specifically for companies then I'll use the term companies.

@Phil, @John, @Phil have made the points of how and which companies foster creativity.

Useful!

Nicholas

Bruce Graham

Nicholas,

Yes - I was just quoting companies I have worked in.

I have also worked as a freelancer for most types of organisation under the sun from military to large-charity, to small company to large university to vast multi-national. All of them foster creativity, as all of them value the benefits it brings.

British Heart Foundation is a registered company - most charities are, hence my use of the word company. Charities are some of the most "business savvy" organisations I have ever come across - when I produced some eLearning a couple of years ago for a HUGE UK charity they totally exuded creativity from every pore, and let me have a virtually free reign creatively.