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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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      Founder of Lifehack

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      Last Updated on March 14, 2019

      7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

      7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

      Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

      For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

      Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

      1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

      A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

      It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

      It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

      How it helps you:

      If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

      Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

      2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

      Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

      Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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      How it helps you:

      Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

      Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

      If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

      Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

      3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

      Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

      Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

      How it helps you:

      This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

      For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

      Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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      A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

      4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

      To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

      A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

      How it helps you:

      One word: hierarchy.

      All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

      In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

      If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

      5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

      Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

      Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

      How it helps you:

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      Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

      If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

      This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

      6. What do you like about working here?

      This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

      Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

      How it helps you:

      You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

      Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

      Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

      7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

      What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

      As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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      How it helps you:

      What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

      First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

      Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

      Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

      Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

      Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

      Making Your Interview Work for You

      Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

      Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

      More Resources About Job Interviews

      Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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