“It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for two years, but will soon be out-of-date.” Roger von Oech, author and consultant
2013 promises to be every bit as challenging—or more so than 2012. Here are seven resources and links for building creative problem-solving skills to help you and your teams identify new and better solutions to the challenges you face in the coming year.
- Use mind mapping techniques and software: In his book, Use Both Sides of Your Brain, Tony Buzan describes how mind mapping can be a quick, easy way to brainstorm, capture ideas, and create a plan or document. Buzon offers a free trial of his iMindMap6 mind mapping software, which is also available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
- Activate your explorer, judge, artist, and warrior: Roger von Oech is an author, inventor, and consultant. He started his company, Creative Think, in 1977 to stimulate creativity in business. He wrote A Whack on the Side of the Head and A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, which are filled with fun tips, stories, and games that stimulate new ways to confront old and new challenges.
- Consider an innovation training program: Synecticsworld provides ground-breaking programs in innovative teamwork, facilitating group creativity, seeing with new eyes, and other custom learning programs. I took a week-long course from them several years ago—it was one of the most thought-provoking and useful programs I’ve ever attended.
- Daydream at work: Did you know that Google and 3M give their employees time and space to daydream? In her book, Daydreams at Work: Wake Up Your Creative Powers, Amy Fries provides suggestions about how to build personal energy and motivation by tapping into your own daydreams. She also includes interviews and stories, and questionnaires to identify your own daydreaming style.
- Play games with your team: Human Synergistics International offers affordable team simulations to enhance group problem-solving skills and decision-making effectiveness, while strengthening cooperation and communication among team members.
- Learn and apply new innovation techniques: Michael Michalko, the author of Thinkertoys, Cracking Creativity, and ThinkPak, provides a host of techniques to unlock creativity. He describes how to reverse conventional assumptions, manipulate what exists into something different, use a variety of exercises to generate new ideas for products, markets, and sales, and much more.
- Ask your team to draw their emotions: Emography is a right brain activity that allows teams to think and interact on a deeper level. It is especially effective during organizational change.
Wishing you a satisfying and creative year! Sher Foerster Kyweriga