“Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes”– Napoleon Hill
New thoughts come to us every day but many more could come to us but how do we notice and use these ideas. The fact is we ignore many of them and this is very unfortunate.
This article provides three ways you can use to generate ideas to facilitate taking action:
1. Get Fresh Perspectives
Start to view a problem or challenge with fresh eyes. Imagine you were an entrepreneur, a researcher or consultant, how differently could you view the same problem or challenge. Carefully look at the type of person you have chosen, and visualise how that kind of person would approach the same problem. Identify the distinguishing characteristic view points of the various personalities for example entrepreneurs are known to:
The consultant will most likely view the range of ideas and advise may be as follows:
The researcher will most likely share with you how to determine whether people prefer organic or genetically modified foods and with evidence convince you to invest in organic or inorganic foods.
You now notice that you can get fresh and very different ideas from people around you. This gives you a pool of new ideas that you can synthesise into productive, workable and implementable action.
Most of us get used to a particular way of thinking that make us settled and may not notice that things are changing very fast. To generate new ideas, we have to break away from the old thought routines by:
There are many assumptions that have been subconsciously built over time which tend to direct the way we think and perceive things. For example, you know there is a good idea but you preconceive it that you can’t afford it. Instead of mobilising ways and means to get involved including partnerships, networks or sell the idea to those who can buy it or plan to do it over a long period of time.
The manner you articulate the issue can limit or expand your creativity. The way you frame the problem or the angle you look at it can help you solve it faster or make it difficult to solve or make it harder or easier for new ideas to emerge. For example, you can focus on transport by concentrating on tourists while another person looks at transport in terms of servicing cars or maintenance of cars or general public transportation. You can also pay attention to facilitating transport through a tracking software and many other new ideas can be identified around transport.
Sometimes thinking of the opposite can help you discover a new idea. What problem am I trying to solve? You can twist it to what opportunity exists in this problem? You can easily be enabled to find answers to handle the subject matter at hand than if you remained with same question. You can also explore reverse questions into the various challenges you want addressed. This is the approach normally used to turn what is considered waste products into very useful products.
You can explore new ideas from networks and connections. In a casual evening, someone can easily share an idea which you can pick interest in, follow up and turn it into a powerful idea. Therefore, through engagement there are opportunities for solving problems as well as a platform for generating new ideas.
The change of work environment has potential to increase creative mind, that’s why organisations and individuals normally go for retreats, holidays and off the usual environment to provide opportunity for seeing new things, connections and facilities. You are likely to see many natural features, pictures, personalities, have games or fun together on the way or while there and all these have potential for new ideas.
Use of fresh perspectives, changing the way of thinking and through new connections and changing the environment have high potential for new ideas.
Charles Barugahare (Ph.D., FCCA) – Financial Consultant, Trainer and Coach