Are you in constant contact with yourself? Brainstorming with others is one way to refine a rough idea into something much more polished, but internal dialogue can be just as effective if one correctly. Not everyone has the luxury of working with a team or having external advice at their fingertips. This is where you come in — literally. Creating a workflow for conceptualization will help you to nail the execution.
Why would you even attempt to create a process like this? Well, for starters, this will help to improve your creative thinking. There are really two types of thinking: vertical and lateral. The latter is also called creative thinking. Vertical thinking is all about logical processes. This uses analytical and sequential reasoning to find solutions. This is a conventional and practical approach to most problems, and it’s effective because the simplest fix is likely the best option.
But innovation isn’t about fitting into conventional means. It’s about pushing boundaries and looking for solutions that no one would think about – this is difficult to walk a path that no one has walked before. Innovators have a lateral approach when solving problems. This is not like reinventing the wheel as some may think, but it is about looking for non-obvious solutions. It’s about straying outside the comfort zone to get things done.
Learning how to brainstorm by yourself will also allow you to solve problems on your own. You can’t look for answers without having a place to search. Brainstorming with yourself comes starts with investing in your knowledge, after all, knowledge is power. Take inspiration from a variety of sources. Look beyond your niche and industry. You can learn from observing anything. Setting a process will allow you to develop reasoning skills that seek alternative meanings beyond the mundane.
It definitely helps to ask questions. Taking an inquisitive stance will only fuel the desire to answer the very questions posed. Examining every aspect of the subject to be brainstormed will help you to dissect it in an analytical manner, improving your vertical reasoning. To answer the new questions you pose, your enhanced knowledge and willingness to break from the convention will improve your lateral thinking.
With time, these skills become refined as they are practiced. Don’t think that the first go will lead to unspeakable breakthroughs, but be open to new ideas. We can’t see new opportunities if we are unwilling to open our eyes.
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