Picture the scene: Its the New Year business planning session with the CEO. White board, Post-its and Sharpie pens are all at the ready. There are jelly babies, water and M&M’s on the table. Stress toys have been scattered around. You have all areas of the business represented. Yet the creative juices are stagnant and no one is talking. The CEO has given an overview of the challenges ahead and has ended the speech with “We need fresh thinking and more creativity!” “We need to think ‘outside the box’ (groan)!”
Tumbleweed starts to drift across the room…..
Businesses are now faced with a constantly changing world and are often grappling with how to stay ahead of their competition and catch up with their customers. This creates a never ending drive to create different ways of doing business, generate new ideas and encourage their teams to think creatively.
Idea generation is a skill that can be cultivated and you and your team need to find ways to activate creative thinking. The main culprit of stifling ideas is the belief that they are only generated following a Eureka moment in the bath, or only some people can generate them. These limiting beliefs are just that, limiting. Encourage your teams to open their minds and think differently.
Challenge the Limiting beliefs
- Challenge the accepted business assumptions: This is especially prevalent in older organisations that have an accepted norm for how the customer behaves, what the product or service is for and how the business has always done things. By testing these assumptions you can create a different approach and uncover new possibilities.
- Challenge the status-quo: Perhaps rewording the problem or changing the perspective can help solve the problem. There is much that can be learned from some of the approaches used in Neuro Linguisitic Programming or NLP, such as modelling and chunking which can help you look at problems in different ways. This can create opportunities for new ideas. A questioning approach can create new insights.
- Expand the problem: Can you take the problem or issue to the nth degree? What is the worst that could happen – what would you do? What is the best that could happen? Reversing the issue may generate possible solutions.
- Creative stimuli: Try learning and problem solving through play. Creativity in schools is encouraged with different media such as clay, painting, word association games and music. As adults we have learned that we must use verbal reasoning to solve our business problems. Re-connect with you inner child and you might be surprised with how this sparks ideas in the team. Don’t be afraid to have some fun.
Marketing Harmony can help you and your teams generate ideas, using a combination of coaching techniques, NLP and good old fashioned fun. Who said business had to be boring! Call or email for more information and a chat about how we can help.