Get Past The Roadblocks To Creative Concepts

Sometimes the ideas just don’t come. You don’t have to be a cartoonist or a novelist to need fresh ideas; every job calls on us to find creative solutions from time to time. When you’re not feeling the magic, look for these common causes of “imagination block”:

Inside the box thinking
You may be looking for familiar solutions to the same old problems. Get into the habit of questioning all your assumptions and looking at situations from different angles.

For instance, instead of asking, “How can we sell this product to our customers?” try, “What would make a customer reject this product?” and build your solution around eliminating that objection.

Fear of…
Maybe you’re afraid of failure. Or the commitment a solution might call for. Or perhaps you’re aware that the best idea will require you to do things you’re not comfortable with.

Confront your fears head on, and identify why they’re paralyzing you. Most of the time you can overcome them if you break them down into manageable elements.

Lack of knowledge
Take a look at your subject. If it’s unfamiliar, you may not know enough detail to generate any relevant ideas. Do more homework.

Or if you’re casting about for a completely new idea, devote time to studying something outside your usual area of expertise without looking for a flash of inspiration. Often, exploring a new field will generate unexpected connections between existing projects.

Sometimes the problem is that you’ve got so many partial ideas that you can’t choose just one to develop.

Try picking one at random and working on that alone until you’ve either got a solid project or you reject it for being unworkable. Or step back and look at your priorities so you can choose the option that suits your needs best.