Five techniques for creative thinking

If you’re ever stuck for a new idea or you don’t know how to move things forward, here are a few techniques from the creative minds at Kalexiko.


1. Positive/negative thinking

With this you imagine the worst possible thing or scenario. For example, if you’re designing a website, you think of a truly horrible website; really the worst you can think of in every way.


You populate it with lots of detail and have fun thinking about how truly unpleasant and useless it could be. Then you envisage and create the complete opposite.


2. Push the possibilities

Ask a question but make sure the question involves the phrase, ‘What can I possibly do to…’.


Your question could be something like, ‘What can I possibly do to make this website look better?’ or, ‘What can I possibly do to get a meeting with this company?’ or, ‘What can I possibly do to win at least one new client in the next month?’ Then, grab a few sheets of clean A4 and start to write down quick, one line answers.


The key is to write down every idea that comes to mind, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.


We can all come up with ten answers easily enough, twenty at a push, but you must keep going and get to at least 25 or 30.


Pause and review and you’ll find that numbers seven, 19 and 24 (or similar) will be the ones you’ll want to develop!


3. An imaginary meeting

Call a meeting of imaginary consultants. You might invite Ghandi, Casanova, the CEO of a competitor business, Lady Gaga, Alan Sugar, etc., etc.


Sit them down around your (imaginary) table and then ask them how they’d respond to your problem.


4. Allow yourself to be inspired

Unfortunately, for most of us work is little more than actions and routines performed with minimal variation.


But say the challenge or problem you face has potential to significantly benefit your business or your life. Is it not worth taking an hour, two hours, a morning or even a day to consider the solution and open some creative doors?


So, visit an art gallery with a note book, have a team meeting at the zoo, organise an activity with a local school, become a street sweeper for a day, go to the beach and make sand sculptures, etc., etc.


The possibilities really are endless.


5. Obscure objects

We’ve also seen this called ‘object forcing’. This is when you bring a single, but obscure object into the mix and see what benefits it could bring.


Say your problem or question is, ‘How can we ensure we retain our existing clients?’


OK, your object is going to be a wobbly jelly on a plate (WJP).


Now you dive in and look at all the features and benefits of a WJP.


For example, image the reaction if someone walked into your room right now, carrying a big red, WJP. It’s a fair bet that everyone in the room would smile or even laugh and the atmosphere would instantly change because a WJP is always a delightful, colourful, treat. Could you therefore, delight, entertain and treat your existing clients more than you currently do and how might you do this?



If you always do what you’ve always done – you’ll always get what you always got.


If you want something different you have to open doors and allow change to come in.