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Where do ideas come from?

Thu, 22/09/2016 - 08:44

No matter what industry you’re in or what your job title is, ideas are important. Whether it’s finding a new way to do something or creating a killer marketing campaign, you need ideas to get there. But they’re not always easy to come by, especially when the pressure is on.

When the clock starts ticking and the expectations are high, it can be hard to think creatively. But, there are ways to generate ideas when the deadline is breathing down your neck.

Good old brainstorming

Brainstorming is an age old tradition in the advertising and marketing world. But it can work for almost anything. The old saying “two heads are better than one” is what the concept of brainstorming is based on. It’s important, however, to remember that these aren’t meetings with solid agendas and talking points. These are sessions designed to fuel creativity.

Brainstorms don’t only have to include the people on the project. You may want to invite people who haven’t been obsessively thinking about the topic for days. Get everyone together and just start chatting. Encourage people to throw any thoughts they have into the mix, no matter how raw or basic.

Free writing

This is a solitary form of brainstorming where you build on your own ideas. It’s pretty simple. Stop thinking too hard and start writing random thoughts. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar (even if you’re a writer). Try techniques like word association. If writing isn’t really your thing, you could doodle or even create mind maps.

Give yourself a set amount of time and look over what you’ve got once that time is up. It’s not likely you’ll find a fully-formed idea in there but you’ll probably get some great inspiration. Free writing is a good way to open up your mind without overthinking the subject at hand.

Hunting for inspiration

Podcasts, blog posts, YouTube channels, Pinterest boards, Twitter accounts...these are all sources of inspiration for new ideas. You may want to get away from what has been done before but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take note of it. You never know, you may find a way to improve on something that’s previously been done. Or maybe you’ll see something that will inspire you to think in a different way. The best part is that you don’t even need to leave your desk because it’s all available online.