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How do Creative Thinking techniques work?

Creative thinking techniques work to stimulate original ideas. New ideas happen when two or more ideas are accidentally or deliberately merged when they have never been merged before. Creative thinking techniques provide the method for deliberately combining ideas in ways which you would not normally come across or think about. This combination generates a truly original idea for you.

The creative thinking process looks like this:

This shows the creative process

So, that's it? Yes, creative thinking is all about merging two previously uncombined thoughts, products or processes. Well, that's the theory. In practice, of course, it can be very difficult to find the ideas to merge, and then to develop that new idea into a workable solution.

Traditional brainstorming lets us believe that other people are enough of a stimulus to prompt us to think in different ways. But this is not normally enough and can leave us struggling to think of original thoughts. If we are brainstorming with people who we normally work with then we are likely to keep coming up with the same ideas as each other, simply because we are used to their ideas and our similar situations. In traditional brainstorming we keep coming up with the same ideas again and again because we keep providing each other with the same stimuli!

What we need for advanced brainstorming to work (ie. lots of new ideas to merge into a solution) is easy access to a series of creative thinking tools; a library of techniques we could always refer to which would provide us with the different and alternative stimuli we seek to spark off new ideas. (Whether those new ideas are of immediate value is not a concern at this stage. It is the generation of new ideas which matters at the brainstorming stage of the problem-solving process. It is then up to you to decide at a later date if the idea is of value to you.)

So, what creative thinking techniques are available?

Many! The techniques we specialize in, and will be training you in, are listed below. All of them will provide you with fresh stimuli and a new way of thinking. You will be able to incorporate them into your brainstorming sessions (individual or group) to generate new ideas easily and they will make sure you'll never be stuck for a new idea.

  • Random Word
  • Random Picture
  • False Rules
  • Random Website
  • Search & Reapply
  • Challenge Facts
  • Escape
  • Analogies
  • Wishful Thinking
  • Thesaurus

How do I use them?

Since a computer is not influenced by preconceptions, bias or inhibitions - and because you're using one right now! - then it's the perfect partner for providing ideas which you would not have thought of merging before.

In the pages that follow, this training course shows you how to use each of the techniques listed above. It is recommended that you use the techniques for real in your brainstorming sessions so that you can

  • prove that they work for you
  • gain experience in using them
  • find the ones which work best for you.

You can use the generated stimulus by telling it to the group or by posing the generated question to the group for their response. If you ever get stuck for an idea, restart the process with a fresh stimulus generated by creative thinking techniques.

Remember that you do not need to have a computer to get a new stimulus and all of the techniques are explained for use without a computer. Brainstorming software just brings all of the techniques together to make them quicker and easier to access. Other materials and equipment which you have in your office or home will probably work too.

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