A Simple Trick to Finding Creative Solutions

creative solutionsWhat if you could come up with a clever solution?

Something innovative. Maybe something ground-breaking. But definitely something at least a little novel.

Wouldn’t that be a more satisfying way to deal with some issues? Wouldn’t you maybe get to a better result?

Well, you can get to the non-obvious answers easier than you might think.

Let’s look at one simple technique that might help.

Nearly every problem or situation can be addressed with a canned response. There are often common lenses through which we view situations. Which is a handy shortcut for quick action. But not necessarily for the best solutions.

Attributes like time, money, and quality play into nearly every endeavor. You can usually make a dent in things by adding money, adding time, and/or reducing your acceptable level of quality. These levers work so well and so reliably that we tend to go to them very quickly.

Non-Obvious Answers

But what happens if you deny yourself some of these tried and true (and other obvious) solutions?

It can force you to take a closer look. It can force you (and perhaps others) to do some deeper thinking. Which can reveal more creative solutions.

Here’s one way to get there more quickly. List out all of the obvious answers. Take the time to run through them all and consider them as you normally would.

Then, set them aside.

These are now “off the table.” So, now what?

Time for deeper thinking.

You will probably notice that you start to study the problem itself more carefully.

And that’s often where real breakthroughs come from – not from discovering some wild solution, but from a better understanding of the problem.

You will probably notice that you can’t generate solutions so quickly.

This may take some time. Perhaps you will realize that this can’t just be done in one siting. That’s another good sign — often our most creative ideas come after things are ruminating in our subconscious for a while. That can lead to classic breakthrough, “A-ha!” moments.

You might even notice that you need or want more information.

You might want to discuss the situation with more people. Which is another good sign. Discussion often leads to more creative thinking. Now you have a partner to mull this thing over with. Of course, you may need to guide the conversation a bit when they revert the discussion back to the realm of the obvious answers. Let them know you’ve set those aside in order to dig deeper.

You may even find yourself thinking about weird possibilities.

Another great sign! What’s more creative than weird? Let yourself run down some of these tracks. They may lead to nowhere. But they are fun to ponder and certainly get the “creative juices” flowing. In fact, thinking about the problem in a weird way or pondering seemingly wild or impossible solutions is a sign that those juices are indeed flowing.

Deny and Discover

Deny yourself the easy answer and you will discover some different answers. Sometimes they will be better answers. Sometimes they won’t. But they will be more creative than the obvious answers.