There have been a lot of articles recently about big data, technical innovations, the internet of things, the latest search algorithms etc.

We have an increasing volume of information to consume and assimilate on a daily basis. Yet we can’t allow ourselves to get completely caught up in granularity and detail, we are emotional creatures and creative thinking must be part of our daily diet. 

And here’s why: creative thinking makes organisations more successful (and is more prevalent in successful organisations). A few months ago econsultancy published a fabulous article demonstrating and discussing this in detail

My question to you is: ‘Are you thinking as creatively as you could be?’.

Here are 10 easy ways to boost your creative brainpower: 

1. What’s for dinner? 

Be more spontaneous when you make decisions. Don’t have a big internal debate, act on instinct and intuition.

2. Explore new avenues

Do something different each day, like taking a new route home. Avoid getting stuck in routines.  

3. Use a can opener to promote a new brand of shoe

Throw a random factor into the pot and try to make it work as an abstract solution. You don’t have to settle on that solution, but it may open doors you might otherwise have walked past.

There’s a Jacob Cass quote on the wall in our studio: ‘There are no bad ideas. Just bad decisions’. 

4. Knit yourself something cosy

Take time to create something for pleasure as well as for purpose.

Get used to the feeling and the process of making something new, unique and inspirational.

5. Smell the bloke next to you

Look up… look down, look left and right too. Consciously allow yourself to be inspired by what’s around you.

That includes people, sounds, smells and actions.

6. Why does Venezuela have the cheapest petrol?

Be curious. Don’t just accept. Ask questions, find out the how and why. Learn something new each day.

Look for the reasons behind the story and adopt an enquiring childlike (not childish!) approach.

7. Get the coffees in

Take a break from a project and get away from your desk, even if only for a few minutes. Give yourself space to clear your mind and deliver a new perspective.

8. ‘I am currently out the office’

Work somewhere different, as projects flow better without distraction. Work from home for a day, in a different office or even just at a different desk. Switch off email for the morning (or put out of office on) and give yourself the time you need to think.

9. Turn off the TV

Be open to casually turning ideas over away from work. Avoid instantly zoning out, keep thoughts bubbling away in your subconscious.

10. Go to Marrakesh

It worked for Terry Lovelock when he was desperate to come up with a new strapline for Heineken. OK, perhaps more extreme than your manager will allow, but you get the idea…

What are your methods for boosting creative thinking? How do you make time in your organisation to create?