Challenging assumptions: Getting beyond-the-usual ideas

Need some fresh thinking?

Photo credit Salventius, http://www.salventius.com

Distractions can prevent new ideas from bubbling to the surface.  Pressures from taking care of business, or the kids, second-guessing what others would think or how to influence important people to say yes impacts people’s willingness to consider something differently.

Creativity, new ideas and new decisions, involves using what you know and combining that with something else. In a very easy sense, creativity means that you are putting new things together in ways that you haven’t in the past.  That means both in the idea generating and the idea receiving. In a 2004 interview with Richard Florida, author of the Creative Class and other works, broadcaster Charlie Rose said: Creativity is a capacity to be free and open to new ideas.

Many people want quick answers. They don’t have the bonus of a leisurely moment or two to consider new combinations. If they did, their brains would reveal wonderful new insights and possibilities.Their unlimited creative potential would be released, they’d  tap into their imagination.

Photos from a Bing featured article on Engineering Wonders (some pasted and linked below) prove what can happen with the imagination in full tow. This kind of thinking is not restricted to engineers.

Author and journalist Ashley Merryman, was recently interviewed in another Charlie Rose segment called Creativity. She shared brain research showing that the thinking processes for creative thinking activities – expanding options then concentrating on one or two – occurs when people use this two stage thinking, regardless of their experience and ability.

  1. Diverge – expand your options
  2. Converge – concentrate on one or two that are different from what already exists

Here’s how…

Use the Bing photos as fodder for your imagination, to crack open and free your  thinking.

To get you prepped, answer these questions using the creative thinking approach.  Do your best to think happy thoughts.  Makes a world of difference!

One-at-a-time, generate 4 or 5 answers for each of the following questions. Then, select one of your answers before moving to the next question.

  • What preferred future would you like to live in?
  • What might be an interesting challenge to take on to make that happen?
  • What obstacles have to be overcome for that to be realized?
  • How might you get over those obstacles (and cause no harm)?

Hey, if these engineers could configure what others would seem impossible, so can you.  Would be great to know what new ideas you came up with.

Marrying rocks
Built out of snow
Treasury building carved into rock
Hanging on rock face
Vanishing roller coaster
Built without nails