Popular TED speaker Tina Seelig models the source of creativity as an Innovation Engine with six elements: attitude, imagination, knowledge, habitat, resources and culture.   innovationengine

To get all elements working, these simple approaches can help open the flow of good ideas and winning solutions.

  1. Rephrase the question. If you are just answering yes or no questions, you’re stuck. Open-ended questions literally open up possibilities.
  2. Pay attention. You never know where the seed of an idea will be found. Stay mindful and you may see solutions flying right to you, from a phrase in a book to a passing comment. Stay in touch and watch what’s going on.
  3. Change your perspective. Taking an idea from conception to implementation takes motivation. Most people think of themselves as puzzle solvers, putting together pieces to solve a problem. Professor Seelig recommends visualizing yourself as a quilt maker, taking available resources to create something new and unique.
  4. Use what you’ve got. You’ll never be able to match someone else’s resources. Envying the greener grass that you don’t have only roadblocks your ability to use what you have. Can’t draw? Take a photo.
  5. Make a creative space. Surroundings influence how you feel and how you think, so make sure your space nurtures creativity. You should feel safe and undisturbed in your creative space so you can work with distraction.
  6. Surround yourself with like-minded people. The attitudes, practices, beliefs and views of those around you have a great influence on creating a culture of creativity.