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today. The second is to add an incredibly tight time frame. The tighter the better. For example, Raise Paris Hilton’s IQ by 100 points by the end of the week. Give birth to an alien by dinner tonight. Marry Brad Pitt by noon tomorrow. After you have developed an impossible challenge, the next step is to divide the participants into pairs or groups of three. This gives everyone a good chance to participate. Once groups are assigned, instruct people to generate at least three solutions to the problem in five minutes. Encourage those who are finding it difficult and remind them that the solutions do not have to be logical or rational – in fact, those solutions won’t actually solve the problem. After these five minutes have passed, you can feel confident that the divergent thinking parts of people’s brains will be sufficiently warmed up. Why does this tool work so effectively? It all comes back to the impossibility of the challenge. Given that it is impossible, noncreative thinking will not lead to a solution. The problem can only be solved through taking a leap and thinking very creatively

and laterally. For example, in relation to the Paris Hilton problem, some solutions might include bribing the instructor for the answers, making the IQ test about fashion rather than general knowledge, or finding another person named Paris Hilton who happens to be very smart. Despite the ‘craziness’ of these problems and answers, groups have then gone on to generate innovative solutions to real life problems they were facing.

Eyeing off creativity In general, the left side of our brain directs our logical and rule-based decisions; similar perhaps to a stern headmaster. On the other hand, the right side tends to be more inventive and intuitive. Research out of New Jersey has gone a step further and found a way to maximise both the left and right brain hemispheres, leading to highly practical and highly creative ideas. The researchers got their participants to complete a standard creativity test then split the participants into two groups. One group was instructed to follow a target that

Inventium - Creative Thinking and Ideas  

HBack in 2006, Inventium’s founder, Dr Amantha Imber was working as a consumer psychologist in a big advertising agency. The agency had put...

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