Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Brainstorming For New Ideas

Brainstorming is a great way to come up with new creative ideas. For years it’s been considered most effective when people brainstorm in a group, but research is now showing this is not necessarily so.

Dr. Paul Paulus, psychologist at the University of Texas Creativity Lab, after 14 years of studying the science of creative brainstorming, has discovered that individuals working alone, without the fear of looking foolish in front of their peers, generate twice as many ideas as those working in a group. This is great news for anyone wanting to create new ideas for abundance and wealth.

Some important traditional techniques include: letting your imagination run wild, going for a quantity of ideas rather than focusing on quality and making a decision to suspend any judgment until later. But Dr. Paulus realized that other methods can also greatly increase an individual’s creativity.

Brainstorming through “brainwriting” (writing down every idea that comes to mind) can generate 40% more new ideas than just thinking about things. Another productive technique is taking a break and coming back to the problem when you feel refreshed. With this second round, Dr. Paulus found people could come up with 66% more ideas.

So, when you’re looking for insight or breakthroughs, get out paper and pen. Write down every possibility - no matter how outrageous. Then take a walk, sleep on it or just enjoy a nice relaxing bath. After all, the great Greek mathematician, Archimedes, got one of his most life-changing ideas while in the tub. He was so excited he jumped out of the water and ran naked through the streets of Athens shouting, “Eureka, I found it!”

Although enthusiasm is very important, that much “bare” spontaneity isn’t necessary. As Dr. Paulus discovered, you don’t have to “share yourself” with a whole group of others when brainstorming for new ideas.

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