The ability to come up with new connections and fresh solutions is the toughest thinking skill to master, but it’s also the most powerful. Great creative thinkers are able to generate ideas at will. They build relationships – between ideas and between people – that nobody else can. They are machines of innovation.
Because of its very nature, there is no roadmap for creativity. But there are lots of free tools on the internet that you can use to generate new ideas and come up with innovative solutions to business problems. You don’t need to be Nikola Tesla, Steve Jobs or Leonardo Da Vinci to get an edge on your competition.
If you want to learn how to be more creative, generate new business ideas and transform yourself into a high-value leader, you’ve come to the right place.
Generating new ideas that improve your work output is hard. A lot of the time it can feel like everything has already been thought of. And that existing structures are just meant to be. Of course, we all know that’s not true, and Portent is an effortless tool that can help you prove it.
Simply type in the word that best describes whatever it is you want to be creative about, and Portent will put ideas (and jokes) around it. You’ll be surprised how quickly those ideas can get you thinking about new approaches to existing problems.
To engage people and put their work into context, businesses and professionals sometimes need to come up with ideas that tap into a wider conversation that’s currently going on in the world. Google Trends is a beautiful tool that brings the world’s (or your local region’s) most talked about topics to life.
Unfocused, stressed professionals make bad decisions. Often, stress can come from something as simple as the environment you find yourself in. Noisli is a cute tool for creating the perfect environment in which your creativity can thrive. Whether you want to feel like you’re working in a bustling San Francisco cafe or by a campsite fire in the middle of the wilderness, Noisli will take you there.
If you can remember what a thesaurus is, you’ll be wondering what the dictionary’s less celebrated sibling is doing in a blog post of creativity tools. But the thesaurus is a great way of discovering connections and sparking creative avenues. Foxtype’s online tool takes this concept to the next level by creating visual maps of ideas that are related to your subject.
This is especially helpful when a key decision-maker has knocked back an idea of yours that you’re convinced would be of great value. Think about how the decision-maker responds to language and use the related Foxtype terms to reframe your proposal – by presenting it in a new way, there’s a greater chance it will be accepted.
Another tool from Foxtype, Compose allows you to check your emails for politeness, readability and length. It even suggests alternative ways of posing your sentences, enabling you to communicate in a more varied and engaging style. Emails are critical to maintaining coherent understanding throughout your team and your wider organisation – with the option to integrate this tool right into your Gmail, Compose makes crystal-clear communication easier than ever.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Constantly being mindful of your creative side is the best way to reap maximum value from it. But that doesn’t mean doing the same thing over and over again. Creativity should always be about trying new things. The Creating Minds list of creative tools is a great launchpad for working your creative muscles – and never running out of new cognitive exercises.
Turning creativity into meaningful business value
It is easy to dismiss creativity as the preserve of the artist – after all, master creative thinkers do turn the asking of questions into an art form – but thinking creatively is beneficial in pretty much every business discipline you can think of, from accounting and HR to project management and logistics. No matter which workplace you’re in, asking new questions and thinking about things a little bit differently will be valued.
As we have seen, good creative thinking makes it possible for people to see solutions by thinking beyond the obvious. Most valuable of all, thinking creatively makes your job more fun and meaningful – all while giving your work the visibility it deserves. With the tools above and a little bit of application, you can start being creative today. Deliver a project early, come up with an off-the-beaten-track course of action, find unexpected added value – whatever you do, do it creatively.
Creative thinking is one of six core critical thinking skills that you can use to significantly improve the performance of both your organization and yourself. Start your creative journey and begin tapping into the full potential of your mind today.