Based on my own experiences, here are some of the methods I find most effective when I’m in search of the new. Enjoy!
Combining different ideas, perspectives, cultures, and basically anything and everything else is one of the best ways to come up with unique ideas – read Medici Effect.
2. Observe don’t ASK
We can ask people all day what they want and what their opinions are, but the fact is, what they say and what they do often don’t coincide. As they say, actions speak louder than words, so next time pay attention to what people are doing not what they’re saying.
Working on your own can really help you solidify your own thoughts and ideas, but having other people to interact with gives you a fresh perspective and can bring in that missing piece of the puzzle that was staring you right in the face.
4. Take Notes
We have ideas all the time, in the least likely of situations, and there’s no way to remember all of them! Having the ability to takes notes whenever an “Aha!” moment strikes should not be underestimated. Try carrying a Moleskine, my notebook of choice.
5. Change Perspectives
Look at things from a different angle. We usually get stuck viewing things from one perspective, but think about the customer, the user, the client, different industries, stakeholders, etc… role playing from various perspectives gives you insight into hidden value that wasn’t so obvious before.
Those are my favorite methods, what are yours?