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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.

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      Last Updated on June 12, 2018

      Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

      Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

      A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

      You know how this looks:

      • Parents constantly comparing children.
      • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
      • Domestic violence.
      • Adultery…
      • And many others.

      For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

      Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

      Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

      This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

      In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

      If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

      How to fix a dysfunctional family

      In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

      And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

      Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

      It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

      Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

      Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

      There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

      Dysfunctional… Or just average?

      Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

      The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

      You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

      A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

      Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

      Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

      • Unrealistic expectations
      • Lack of interest and time spent together
      • Sexism
      • Utilitarianism
      • Lack of empathy
      • Unequal or unfair treatment
      • Disrespect towards boundaries
      • Control Issues
      • Jealousy
      • Verbal and physical abuse
      • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

      You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

      If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

      Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

      How to turn it around

      When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

      But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

      One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

      We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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      As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

      What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

      Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

      Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

      Correction is possible

      In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

      Verbalize it.

      All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

      Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

      This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

      But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

      So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

      Putting it to work in real life

      In real life it would be something like this:

      “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

      Or:

      “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

      Or:

      “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

      As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

      This is what you have to remember:

      1-Stop.

      2-Why it’s wrong?

      3-What you need.

      And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

      It’s a family thing

      A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

      Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

      In other words, you will need cooperation…

      So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

      Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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      We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

      You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

      It’s not a free-for-all battle

      In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

      No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

      Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

      And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

      The method

      1. Drop the ego

      Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

      You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

      Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

      What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

      It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

      After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

      Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

      Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

      Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

      And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

      You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

      2. Not blame, but responsibility

      When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

      But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

      When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

      What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

      Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

      As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

      You will do something like this:

      “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

      I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

      You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

      I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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      It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

      What happened here?

      We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

      We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

      We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

      And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

      You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

      This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

      3. Doing the work

      What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

      This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

      Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

      If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

      It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

      “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

      I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

      But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

      You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

      Love is all you need

      You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

      That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

      And what happens if it simply is not there?

      What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

      What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

      There is only one thing you can do:

      To break away.

      Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

      There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

      “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

      If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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      Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

      You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

      Putting distance

      So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

      What do I mean?

      Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

      Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

      Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

      Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

      They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

      Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

      I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

      I choose my peace of mind.

      And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

      Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

      Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

      How to prevent it

      There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

      • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
      • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

      Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

      You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

      Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

      Priorities and clear thought

      You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

      You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

      You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

      Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

      If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

      And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

      Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

      But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

      Featured photo credit: Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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