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When you need to generate ideas

Gilly Meek, de Bono Thinking Systems Accredited Trainer

Have you ever been in that situation when you need to come up with ideas but your mind goes blank? Or maybe you can’t think past the same old solutions that keep resurfacing?

Sadly, the harsh reality is that we can’t always pick when it’s time to generate new ideas. Sometimes business needs, market conditions, customer needs or internal pressures dictate that we need to generate ideas – fast!

Unfortunately, the best ideas don’t appear when we most need them.  When we’re sat round the boardroom table or in a meeting room, trying to think of an idea when under pressure, it’s not always conducive to being creative.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could generate ideas on demand? In fact, wouldn’t it be nice if you could not only generate ideas on demand, but that you could generate ‘great’ ideas on demand. Ideas that are new, different and stand out from the usual ‘same old’. The good news is you can!

By applying some principles and tools such as Edward De Bono’s Lateral Thinking™ and Six Thinking Hats® you can come up with creative ideas quickly, collectively (if in a group) and on demand.

How does this all work?

Firstly, it’s important to be open-minded and not afraid to try something a bit different. To generate ‘great’ ideas you need to let go of boundaries, let go of the fear that your ideas will sound stupid. You just need to put the ideas ‘out there’. 

Generating and finding the ‘right’ idea?

You need to brainstorm lots of ideas, even the ones that may sound far-fetched. It’s a good idea to add a process to your idea generation sessions. Six Thinking Hats® is a great way to reduce conflict and increase collaboration and remove all limiting beliefs.

To be confident and effective at generating ideas you need to equip yourself with some creative thinking tools by attending some Lateral Thinking™ training or a Course in Creativity™.

Once you have lots of new ideas, it’s time to choose which ideas you are going to go with.

Focus, assessment and evaluating all those ideas…

The best technique to ensure you have a clear focus on what you’re generating ideas for and that you’ve properly assessed and evaluated your ideas, picking the one(s) that are going to really make a difference is Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats®.

The Six Thinking Hats® will help you define what type of thinking to apply when. So, for example, in Green Hat thinking, you will generate your ideas first. Then once you have finished generating ideas you will use a different coloured hat to evaluate your ideas.

And there you have it… a great idea that you can action!

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More about Gilly Meek
Gilly is an accredited Think on Your Feet®, Lateral Thinking™, Six Thinking Hats®, The Skilled Presenter™ and Managing Stakeholders Simulation™ trainer and has delivered these workshops to numerous clients. Gilly also trains in Management Skills, Negotiation Skills, Facilitation Skills‎, Impact & Influence and Time-Management.

Prior to joining Indigo, Gilly managed the learning and development function for Global Radio, the UK’s largest radio organisation; training and coaching employees across a number of brands including Heart, LBC and Galaxy Radio. During her time at Global Radio, she ran several management development and sales development programmes.