Creativity Tip #4

How do you know when you’ve hit THE idea? There are different approaches but this one is sort of like thinking in reverse. I call it the Drill Down Technique.

Begin with writing a one or two word idea on a small “sticky note.” These ideas address or answer a specific question that attempts to solve a problem.


This works better in a group of about four or five, and is a timed exercise of about ten minutes.

So have a timer (electronic or a person) monitor closely.

Once you have, say, 25 or more ideas (“stickies”), choose what you consider to be the best five ideas . . . and ELIMINATE THEM.

At this point, most likely whoever is keeping time will come by and collect the now-discarded ideas. They no longer exist for (for now).

Choose five more from your “sticky notes” and ELIMINATE THEM.

Continue this process in increments of five until you have five best ideas left. Then eliminate three, then one.

Maybe this last idea you have is the best one; maybe not. However, it’s one to which you may not have paid much attention if you had gone through these ideas in a more traditional way.

Now, go do your due diligence and find out.

You never know.


Creativity Tip #117

When was the last time you tried to explain something to an 8-year old? Now, when was the last time you tried to explain something to a group of adults? Did you experience the same feelings or results?

When explaining an idea, consider this: If you can explain your idea to an 8-year old, and she gets it, you’re golden. Children force us to think at the core level, without all the garbage adults heap on top.

If you can’t find an 8-year old, try a stuffed animal. You’ll get their undivided attention. If you feel silly in the process, that’s okay; silly is all part of it.

Taking it a step further, try putting the stuffed animal and the 8-year old together for a mini focus group. The worse that could happen – it may get you to think some more.