These tips, from Scientific American Mind, are all also found in the book Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity:
- Become an expert. You need a solid knowledge base. (Zig Zag Chapter 2: LEARN)
- Observe. Carefully study how people use what they currently have, and what problems they face. (Zig Zag Chapter 3: LOOK)
- Know your audience. Walk in the shoes of the intended consumer. (Again, LOOK)
- Step out of your comfort zone. Seek activities outside your field of expertise. (LOOK again)
- Be willing to work alone. Balance group time with alone time.
- Talk to outsiders about your work. This helps with novel perspectives. (Research on how to balance solitary and group time is in my book Group Genius)
- Have fun. A good mood helps! (Zig Zag Chapter 4: PLAY)
- Take a nap or let your mind wander. Sleep and daydreaming can get you past the impasse. (Again, PLAY)
- Take a break. Occupy your mind with a different task. (PLAY again!)
- Challenge yourself. Disrupt your daily routine. Go beyond your initial idea and look for more. Try to improve on other people’s answers. (Zig Zag Chapters 5 and 6, THINK and FUSE)
This is a wonderful set of advice, prepared by Professor Evangelia G. Chrysikou of the University of Kansas.