Generate New Ideas in Your Team – Creativity Techniques with a Difference
by Andrew O'Connell, 23.05.2015
Creativity is the key ingredient for successful management of projects and helps bring light on original ideas. However, many of us are not simply able to switch on our creative side, which is why we have searched out some creativity techniques that are straight-forward to follow and may just help you find that quick solution […]
Creativity is the key ingredient for successful management of projects and helps bring light on original ideas. However, many of us are not simply able to switch on our creative side, which is why we have searched out some creativity techniques that are straight-forward to follow and may just help you find that quick solution to a problem.
Brainstorming und Mind Mapping
These are the classic methods used to help generate new ideas. The aim of the game is to collect as many different and creative ideas as possible; it does not matter how radical or impossible they are. These ideas will help inspire you and could be further developed to meet your project demands.
The 635 Method
The name of the 635 Method reveals exactly what you require for generating new ideas: a project team of 6, a sheet of paper with 3 columns and 5 minutes for each participant. Each participant has 5 minutes to further develop an answer to 3 questions or problems written at the top of the sheet. Once 6 rows have been filled in with suggestions by the participants, the game is stopped so that these ideas can be reflected upon by the whole team and before you know it, you will have found many new approaches to solving the problem.
The Reframing Matrix
Michael Morgan created the Reframing Matrix tool which he published in his 1993 book entitled “Creating Workforce Innovation.” It helps you to look at business problems from various perspectives so that you can find more creative solutions.
This method works on the fact that different people with different experiences are most probably going to tackle problems in different ways. This approach helps you put yourself into the minds of different people, imagine how they would face these problems, and explore the possible solutions that they may suggest. The Reframing Matrix is very easy to use. All you need is a pen and paper to get started.
Step 1: Draw the Grid
Start by drawing a simple four-square grid, but leave enough space in the middle where you can define your problem.
Step 2: Decide on Perspectives
Now, decide on four different perspectives to use in your matrix.
Step 3: Brainstorm Factors
Finally, brainstorm factors related to your problem from each perspective, and add these in to the relating quadrant of the matrix.
Hopefully after completing the Reframing Matrix, you will have a better understanding of your problem so that you will be able to generate more solutions.
The Alphabetic Technique
A simple, but effective method for generating ideas is the alphabetic technique. Firstly, you need to refrain from using your usual thought patterns, then write all the letters in the alphabet from A to Z on a piece of paper. Write down a term that relates to your project next to each letter and these new inputs will in turn bring new ideas and approaches which should help you solve the problem.
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