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A simple tool to help you think more creatively

bI expect, because you are reading this, that you are curious about your creativity. You've probably read quite a lot about it lately. This is fantastic and is an important step towards reshaping your brain for faster, more fluent and more original creative thinking. However, in the same way that reading about tennis will only get you so far on the court, you need to put your creative thinking into practice to truly develop it.

 According to a Harvard University study, innovative people spend 50% more time being INTENTIONAL about thinking differently.

 Here's a simple tool that I love from educator and speaker Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw, author of 'Intrapreneur' and 'Leading in the Innovation Age'. She calls it her BODS tool (to help us all become creative BODS!)

 The tool comprises four questions using the acronym BODS, which stand for: better, other, different and simple. Ask yourself these questions:

  • BETTER: is there a better way of doing this?
  • OTHER: how have other people solved similar problems
  • DIFFERENT: what would I see and do differently if I look at this problem or situation from a completely different point of view?
  • SIMPLE: how can I make this incredibly simple?

These questions break us out of our current ways of thinking and open a way for us to think more creatively. They help us to become unstuck. They can lead us to new associations and original solutions.

 This tool will make your team more creative

So many teams are stuck in the way things have always been done. Elon Musk warned: “The problem is that in a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking.” Try this tool out with your teams.

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 Dr Irena says: "I’ve shared it with many different groups and leaders and they have found different ways of adapting it for their contexts. Some have created colourful, visually engaging posters to place around their workspace to keep the question prompts top-of-mind, others use a BODS question at team meetings to extend thinking, still others ask those questions regularly, at strategic junctures, as they go through extended projects to ensure that they are actively considering alternatives that they may have missed. After all its easy to fall into default thinking as a result of being furiously busy."

 I dare you.

Write these questions somewhere that you will see them easily. Try applying them every day for a week to a problem or challenge that you come across. See what happens!

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"If you wait until you are ready, you will be waiting the rest of your life." Lemony Snicket