When you are tasked with coming up with a new concept, you often feel both exhilarated and frustrated when solutions don't readily just pop up.
We all at some point get stuck or a project.
I have found myself in this situation many times and here are three things I do to spark new ideas:
1. Get out of the office.
Exercise has always helped me to get the ideas flowing again. This idea is validated by Stanford research on exercise--walks help generate ideas. I recommend this strategy for many clients, and in fact, there are many successful leaders who have used exercise for brainstorming such as Steve Jobs and Diane Von Furstenberg.
One day, I was floundering for a kick off activity to start a two-day offsite that I was leading for a company. I was frustrated because nothing seemed interesting enough to initiate my discussion on creativity. So, I decided to take a walk on the trail near my house.
As I walked, I looked up at the tall trees; I tried to not press and force ideas. I looked down at the forest floor and there was a smattering of rocks that I was stepping over. There it was...my idea!
The offsite would kick off with everyone decorating a rock with a goal that they had for the offsite. As a bonus they could use it as a paperweight and a reminder about creativity back at the office.
2. Read something new.
Another way I've found to get ideas flowing is to read something outside of my routine. Of course, I read many business books, newsletters and publication sites to help my clients. But reading something very different -- poetry and young adult fiction -- helps disrupt my typical thought patterns.
In fact, another solution for me was to take a poetry writing class online. It was motivating to have an assignment each week to write a poem outside of the day to day responsibilities. As a byproduct poetry classes, I find that I am a better in my business writing.
3. Change your mindset.
I was working with a client recently who reminded me that "sometimes, good is good enough." When he evaluates ideas from his teams, sometimes the recommendations aren't the most innovative, but the strategies will drive the business now. In his mind, acting on an idea is more important than puttering around for the eureka moment.
There are many ways to help you get unstuck and generate new ideas but the most important objective is to experiment.