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Use what works


Principles of creativity > Use what works

Multiple methods | Horses for courses | See also


Many people see creativity as a relatively unstructured activity of bouncing around ideas until you hit on the right one. Whilst this is indeed a valid approach, it is only one of the many ways of going about the job.

There is a wide spectrum of approaches to idea generation, from highly structured, analytic methods that seem more like engineering than creativity, to highly unstructured methods that can make you wonder how on earth they work. The Tools offered here are a small corner of the creative field, although this is carefully planted garden.

Multiple methods

Why multiple methods? Why not just one or two? In fact one or two may be just right for you. But then creativity is an odd business where we are trying to unlock the subconscious and kick it into action. This means:

  • The tools that work for you might not work for other people.
  • Each tool provides a different sort of stimulation, leading to different ideas.
  • The mind can get used to one particular tool, making it less effective.
  • Some tools are more suited to some types of problem.
  • Some tools are more suited to some organizational cultures.

Horses for courses

All of which means that it is 'horses for courses' and tools should be chosen to suit the situation. It also means that if you run out of ideas and want more, then a change of tool scenery is a good idea. It is also a good creative move to keep trying different tools-you never know what might work until you give it a go.

The bottom line: Use what works for you. Do not flog dead horses. There are plenty more out there in the field.

See also

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