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Essential Resources for Creativity (163 techniques + 30 tips + books!)

Essential Resources for Creativity (163 techniques + 30 tips + books!)

Creativity and innovation thinking are topics that I have been searching recently. Below are those couple of sites’ resource links + some related recommended books that related to creativity and innovation. Techniques (163 of them!) by Mycoted should help you with creative thinking – those are the toolbox for you when you get stuck on developing your ideas.

Tips on Creativity by Gaping void is a list of how to be creative. This is the initial list for understanding what is creative and what are the ways you can gain creativity.

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Finally I have gathered some references on books and audiobooks which are great for references on this topic.

Here are the lists:

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“There are many definitions of creativity, from my favourite above, to dictionary definitions such as “originality of thought” (Collins English Dictionary). Personally I believe we are all creative, we all have original thoughts and ideas, although for many the action of expressing those creative thoughts has been trained out of us over the years.” – Mycoted

Creativity Techniques:

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  1. Alternative Scenarios
  2. Analogies
  3. Analysis of Interactive Decision Areas (AIDA)
  4. Anonymous voting
  5. Assumption surfacing
  6. Attribute listing (and variants)
  7. Backward Forward Planning
  8. Boundary examination
  9. Boundary relaxation
  10. Brainstorming
  11. Brain sketching
  12. Brain Writing
  13. Brain writing 6-3-5
  14. Brain writing game
  15. Brain writing pool
  16. Browsing
  17. Brutethink
  18. Bug listing
  19. Bullet proofing
  20. Bunches of bananas
  21. Card story boards
  22. CATWOE
  23. Charrette
  24. Cherry Split
  25. Circle of Opportunity
  26. Clarification
  27. Classic Brainstorming
  28. Collective notebook (CNB)
  29. Comparison tables
  30. Component detailing
  31. Concept Fan
  32. Consensus mapping
  33. Constrained brain writing
  34. Contradiction Analysis
  35. Controlling imagery
  36. Crawford slip writing
  37. Creative problem solving (CPS)
  38. Criteria for idea-finding potential
  39. Critical path diagrams (CPD)
  40. Decision seminar
  41. Delphi
  42. DO IT
  43. Dialectical approaches
  44. Dimensional analysis
  45. Drawing
  46. Estimate-discuss -estimate
  47. Exaggeration (magnify or minify)
  48. Excursions
  49. Factors in ‘selling’ ideas
  50. False Faces
  51. Fishbone diagram
  52. Five W’s and H
  53. Flow charts for action planning
  54. Focus groups
  55. Focusing
  56. Force-field analysis
  57. Force-fit game
  58. Free association
  59. ‘Fresh eye’ and networking
  60. Gallery method
  61. Gap analysis
  62. Goal orientation
  63. Greetings cards
  64. Help, hinder
  65. Heuristic ideation technique (HIT)
  66. Highlighting
  67. Idea advocate
  68. Imagery for answering questions
  69. Imagery manipulation
  70. Imaginary Brainstorming
  71. Implementation checklists
  72. Improved nominal group technique
  73. Interpretive structural modeling
  74. Keeping a dream diary
  75. Kepner and Tregoe’s method
  76. KJ-method
  77. Laddering
  78. Lateral Thinking
  79. Listing
  80. Listing pros and cons
  81. Metaplan information market
  82. Mind mapping
  83. Morphological analysis
  84. Morphological Forced Connections
  85. Multiple redefinition
  86. Negative brainstorming
  87. Nominal group technique (NGT)
  88. Nominal-interacting technique
  89. Notebook
  90. Observer and merged viewpoints
  91. Osborn’s checklist
  92. Other people’s definitions
  93. Other people’s viewpoints
  94. Paired comparison
  95. Panel consensus
  96. Paraphrasing key words
  97. Personal balance-sheet
  98. Phases of integrated problem solving (PIPS)
  99. Pictures as idea triggers
  100. Pin cards
  101. PMI (Plus, Minus, Interaction)
  102. Plan Do Check Act (PDCA)
  103. Plusses, potentials and concerns
  104. Potential-problem analysis (PPA)
  105. Preliminary questions
  106. Problem-centred leadership (PCL)
  107. Problem Reversal
  108. Progressive hurdles
  109. Progressive revelation
  110. Provocation
  111. Q-sort
  112. Quality circles
  113. Random stimuli of various kinds
  114. Rawlinson Brainstorming
  115. Receptivity to ideas
  116. Reframing values
  117. Relational words
  118. Relaxation
  119. Reversals
  120. Role storming
  121. 7-Step Model
  122. SCAMMPERR
  123. SCAMPER
  124. Sculptures
  125. Search conference
  126. Sequential-attributes matrix
  127. Similarities and Differences
  128. Simple rating methods
  129. Simplex
  130. Six Thinking Hats
  131. Slice and Dice
  132. Snowball technique
  133. Stakeholder analysis
  134. Sticking dots
  135. Stimulus analysis
  136. Story writing
  137. Strategic assumption testing
  138. Strategic choice approach
  139. Strategic management process
  140. Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA)
  141. Successive element integration
  142. Super Group®
  143. Super heroes
  144. SWOT Analysis
  145. Synectics
  146. Systematized Direct Induction (SDI)
  147. Technology Monitoring
  148. Think Tank
  149. TILMAG
  150. Transactional planning
  151. Trigger Sessions
  152. Trigger method
  153. TRIZ
  154. Using ‘crazy’ ideas
  155. Using experts
  156. Value brainstorming
  157. Value engineering
  158. Visual brainstorming
  159. Visualising a goal
  160. Who are you?
  161. ‘Why?’ etc. – repeatable questions
  162. Wishing
  163. Working with dreams and images
“”Creative” is one of those annoying words that means little, simply because it means so many different things to different people. I make no claim to have a better definition of “creative” than anyone else.” – Hugh Macleod

Tips to be creative:

  1. Ignore everybody.
  2. The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to change the world.
  3. Put the hours in.
  4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
  5. You are responsible for your own experience.
  6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
  7. Keep your day job.
  8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
  9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
  10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
  11. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
  12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
  13. Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.
  14. Dying young is overrated.
  15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.
  16. The world is changing.
  17. Merit can be bought. Passion can’t.
  18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.
  19. Sing in your own voice.
  20. 20. The choice of media is irrelevant.
  21. Selling out is harder than it looks.
  22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.
  23. Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time.
  24. Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.
  25. You have to find your own schtick.
  26. Write from the heart.
  27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
  28. Power is never given. Power is taken.
  29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.
  30. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.

Reference Links:
Creativity Techniques – [Mycoted]
How to be Creative (latest version) – [gapingvoid]
Audio Books:
The Breakout Principle: Maximize Creativity, Athletic Performance, Productivity and Personal Well-Being

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    Super-Creativity

      Recommend Books:
      A WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD : How You Can Be More Creative
      Why Didn’t I Think of That? Think the Unthinkable and Achieve Creative Greatness
      Planning Under Pressure: The Strategic Choice Approach (Urban and Regional Planning Series, Volume 37)
      Broken Crayons: Break Your Crayons and Draw Outside the Lines

      Strategies of Genius, Volume One, Volume Two
      Techniques of Structured Problem Solving (General Business & Business Ed.)
      Thinkertoys (A Handbook of Business Creativity)

      Comments and further discussions are welcome at Lifehack.Community.

      More by this author

      Leon Ho

      Founder of Lifehack

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      Last Updated on May 22, 2020

      What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

      What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

      The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

      But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

      Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

      So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

      Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

      The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

      1. A Positive Attitude

      Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

      Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

      Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

      Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

      The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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      Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

      2. Confidence

      All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

      Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

      If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

      Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

      You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

      • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
      • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

      3. A Sense of Humor

      It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

      Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

      Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

      As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

      Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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      Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

      4. Ability to Embrace Failure

      No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

      Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

      Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

      Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

      Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

      By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

      You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

      5. Careful Listening and Feedback

      This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

      The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

      The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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      Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

      Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

      6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

      No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

      Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

      Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

      To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

      • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
      • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

      Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

      7. Growth Mindset

      Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

      Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

      Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

      It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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      Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

      8. Responsibility

      Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

      The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

      Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

      Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

      9. A Desire to Learn

      It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

      Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

      You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

      Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

      To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

      The Bottom Line

      Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

      Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

      More Tips on Leadership

      Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

      Reference

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