So you reckon you’re not the creative type. You just don’t have innovative ideas? Lucky for you, science shows us that creativity can be learned and this article will show you the secret ingredient to becoming that creative genius that you long to be. That secret ingredient is something called “diverse stimuli”.
Research has shown that exposing ourselves to a wide variety of information (diverse stimuli) increases our ability to generate creative solutions. The more diverse information that we absorb into our unconscious, the more potential connection points that we have in our unconscious for creative ideas to form. We also know that the quality and quantity of ideas generated by a group (in say, an ideation session) increases significantly by using pre-prepared, diverse stimuli for inspiration.
In a nutshell, Diverse Stimuli = More Opportunity for Creative Ideas
The best part is that you don’t have to wait until your next ideation workshop to be that creative genius. Here is some inspiration for how to bring this concept of “diverse stimuli” into your world each and every day:
- Short Articles: We love com as inspiration for the latest in Innovation.
- Podcasts: The Public Philosopher is my new favourite. I love the audience participation and Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel covers all sorts of topics that make you go, “hmmmmmm.”
- Experiences: Check out a musical, a book reading, the museum – something out of the ordinary for you. I highly recommend Imaginaria if you’re a Brisbane local.
- TV Shows: Rather than sitting down with the latest episode of Mindy on Netflix (guilty), try a How It’s Made episode on Youtube. You never know how “future you” might get inspired by neon signs, contact lenses and combination locks just when you need it.
- Music: It has the ability to transport you to new places without having to leave the house. It’s a magical and simple way to bring diverse stimuli into your life made easier with streaming platforms. Here’s a curated Spotify playlist for you to shuffle through.
- Board Games: We are a games-night kind of family and Shot in The Dark Game is one that’s fun, anyone can participate in and gets random conversations started. The perfect creativity trigger!
If you’re a leader, there are also ways you can inspire creative thinking from your team using diverse stimuli. Try some of these:
- Job rotation or temporary swaps;
- Bring someone from outside of your team, or even your organisation into your next team meeting and ask them to share what they’re working on;
- Encourage clutter (in a good way) and ask team members to bring interesting and uncommon items into their workspace – either into camera view or into the actual office.
And finally, not to be confused with the national Powerline Safety message (which is also super important), “Look up and live!”. Get off your phone and use those moments of boredom to be inspired by the world around you. You might just have your very first million dollar idea.