While I was away on holiday I took the book “How To Have Creative Ideas” by Edward de Bono which I heard a lot about. For those of you that haven’t heard of Edward de Bono (I hadn’t a few month ago) he is a leading figure in the field of creative thinking and has worked with people from children to large corporations. De Bono believes that the brain and your creativity needs to be exercised. As with anything you become more creative with practice, he also believes that anyone can learn to be more creative.
The book “How to Have Creative Ideas,” consists of a series of exercises designed to flex your creative muscles using random words for inspiration. For example one of the exercises is to take a random word (these are selected from tables at the back of the book randomly by rolling a dice) and come up with new ideas to make a bank more attractive to its customers. I randomly drew the word curry mmm… makes you think doesn’t it. How can you use the word curry to come up with ideas to promote a bank? Maybe the bank could have a snack bar so customers can grab lunch while sorting their finances, could the bank be themed different Countries different months India/curry to promote its travel currency services and travel insurance, maybe on opening a new student account the student is given a voucher for a curry at a local curry house. Ok maybe they are not the best ideas but you can see the concept. Once you are confident at using the random words with de Bono’s exercises you can then apply the random words to your own problems.
Another exercise I enjoyed was to randomly pick to words to create a potential profit making company. I picked Ant and Hotel, so maybe there could be a hotel with very small rooms, I have seen on TV hotels in Japan where your “hotel room” is literally a shelf with a bed and curtains round it, perhaps this could be introduced for pub goers as a cheaper alternative to a taxi (ok, if you are laughing, you think of some 🙂 )
What I really like about the whole random word idea, is it can throw up concepts that you wouldn’t have thought of in a million years. I can see that this way of thinking could be especially useful for conceptual design work and advertising, I think I will give it a try on the next project I am stuck on.
I think this book is well worth a look for anyone interested in expanding their way of thinking. If you are looking for a random word generator to have a quick try of some creative thinking check out the random word generator. This site also suggests exercises similar to Edward de Bono’s ideas.