Framing-IdeasHow do you frame creative thinking and the ideas you hope to generate?

That is an important question, because how you frame your creative thinking task makes a fundamental difference in the subsequent ideas you generate.

Creative Ideas that Feel the Same

I re-learned this lesson again while beating myself up over the perpetual struggle to write something closer to a book than a blog. While SAYING I want and need to write a book, whenever I have a time to generate ideas, I invariably write at the top of the page - whether in a notebook or on an iPad - "Blog Ideas."

And what creative ideas do you think appear on the page?

You guessed it: my creative thinking produces MORE blog ideas and blog posts.

As I wrote “Blog Ideas” on a page to start this blog post, I realized how much even this simple, initial label shapes the subsequent creative ideas.

Frame the Creative Thinking You Really Want

We are big advocates for not starting creative thinking with a blank piece of paper. Using tools and exercises to frame creative thinking works wonders.

Yet maybe it is a good creative idea to sometimes leave the very top of the piece of paper blank. Doing so, you launch your creativity devoid of expectations about what the ultimate uses are for the creative ideas you generate.

Or, if it is helpful to scrawl something at the top of page to frame your ideas, make sure what you write is going to frame the creative thinking you really want.

Even better, make it an outrageously EXTREME label that is just the right size to stretch your creative thinking beyond the same old size and direction. Mike Brown


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