The simplest answer is: “Go for a walk”. How many ideas have you not had while you were out walking, cycling, driving your car or doing the dishes? The brain continuously receives stimulation and continuously produces ideas. A good technique is to work on a problem just before you go to sleep. Your subconscious takes over while you sleep. Evaluate the ideas when you wake up.

Everyone has the potential to be creative. Every one of us can create something. Only not everyone is aware of this. Creative people seem to be able to home in on their thought patterns and in this way gather good ideas. People who do not use their creative potential either do not know how to do this or are not aware of the possibilities. Creative people are able to think something over and then to forget about it. Meanwhile the thinking process continues unconsciously. Later the conscious thinking process is again resumed and the brain has unconsciously produced some ideas.

In order to become more creative you have to have the right qualities, be motivated and have the opportunity to actually produce something creative. The first thing you have to do to become more creative is to give yourself permission to do things in a creative way. The second is to conquer your personal barriers.

A few things that will help you to heighten your creativity:

  • read books on creativity techniques
  • do a course on creative thinking
  • keep a diary of your ideas, thoughts, etc. and read it regularly
  • relax regularly and take sufficient time off for leisure develop an interest in various things, preferably things that have nothing to do with your day-to-day work do not work too hard (it takes time to distance yourself after a period of being intensively preoccupied with a problem)

Creativity is not a gift. It is an attitude. The book ‘Innovation by Creativity’ provides you with a number of tools that will help you, but it will not automatically change your ideas about yourself or your creativity. You will have to do that for yourself. Everyone can do it, everyone has got what it takes!

A program to further your creativity should include the following steps:

  1. Formulate measurable goals, e.g.:
    • generate 15% more solutions within 6 months
    • find a solution to problem X within 2 weeks
    • generate ideas using brainstorming (come up with at least 100 ideas for a new pen)
  2. Formulate criteria to establish whether you have achieved the goals, e.g.:
    • the ideas are new
    • the ideas are useful, solve the problem or meet the requirement
    • the ideas can be implemented within the required time and the available budget.
  3. Read and learn about creativity techniques.
  4. Create an environment for yourself with people you trust and respect.
  5. Celebrate your successes.
  6. Look upon yourself as a creative person.

Source: ‘Innovation by Creativity’ – Hans Terhurne & Max van Leeuwen