WSJ-Review-SectionLast weekend’s Wall Street Journal “Review” section teemed with wonderful reminders of creative ideas. These reminders were helpful for providing a handy creative thinking skills refresher on ideas that can become easy to overlook.

Check out these thirteen creative ideas pulled from three of the Wall Street Journal “Review” articles.

Pick one of these creative thinking ideas and do something about it this week - even if that is as simple as thinking about it for a few moments today. You get bonus points if you actually take action on any of these ideas to enhance your creative thinking skills this week.

13 Creative Thinking Skills worth Remembering

Each creative idea is followed by a reference to the list of articles below from which it came.

Creative Perspective

  • How readily do you suspend your cynicism to be able to imagine possibilities? How do you consciously force yourself out of a cynical perspective when that’s needed? (1)
  • How often do you give yourself the permission to be “new and stupid”? (1)

Creative Inspiration

  • If you derive a lot of creative stimulation through online interactions, how are you regularly creating equal creative stimulation through in-person interactions? (1)
  • Do you keep going back to the same creative wells repeatedly? Or do you continually seek out new creative experiences where you do not already know the whole story? (1)
  • Do you know where your best ideas come from? (It is okay if you don’t know.) If you can recall where your ideas come from, are they originating from different creative inspirations? (2)

Creative Process

  • When you take on a new creative project, do you have a “total immersion” process you go through to become fluent in the new subject? (3)
  • As you imagine a new creative project, how are you creating a “look book” with inspiration, depictions, and prototypes for your strategic and creative approach? (3)
  • When addressing a traditional topic, are you asking, “What doesn’t matter?” This helps identify unnecessary elements ripe for elimination. (3)
  • Are you growing the number of people you know that face similar situations to yours? These are the relationships where you can have candid, deep conversations on challenges and opportunities you both face. (1)
  • How are you leaving room for surprise and unexpected twists and turns in your creative projects? (2)
  • If you enjoy planning everything out on a creative project, are you willing to pursue your next creative project with less upfront exploration? (2)

Creative Experience

  • When trying to convey large amounts of information to an unfamiliar audience, how are you using design to simplify the information and draw in audience members while letting the design fade into the background? (3)
  • To anticipate a major creative experience impact, ask, “What’s going to stop (the audience) in its tracks and (make them) think about this completely differently?” (3)

Creative Inspiration for these Creative Ideas:

(1) “Bordellos for the Brain (Conference Mania)” by Holly Finn

(2) “In the Beginning,” by Ron Rash

(3) “Creating – At the Side of an Expert Exhibitionist” – Melanie Ide, Museum Planner

Next Week’s Creative Thinking Skills Assignment

I hope you enjoy working one of these creative ideas this week. While you’re at it, bookmark this page and come back to it next week to refresh even more creative thinking skills! - Mike Brown


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