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6 Practical Steps to Developing Creative Ideas

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something and that’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. The reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.” – Steve Jobs.

Pen in hand. Paper blank. Laptop in sight. Screen blank. Mind blank.

We have all been faced with such situations when coming up with quality creative ideas was really mind racking and walking up to your boss/client to give “creative block” as an excuse was no excuse especially when you work in a fast paced environment.

As the quote above states, creative ideas don’t spring up in a vacuum and I like to believe that the most creative people don’t have super powers; they are just the ones who have developed and followed through with habits to generating quality creative ideas.

Here are 6 practical steps to help in developing creative ideas:

Mind Mapping

Mind maps are effective tools that help to show how different pieces of information or different ideas are connected. It utilizes the concept of “radiant thinking”. When drawing a mind map, it is advised that you let your imagination run wild and free with all ideas that can be related to your central theme. Say, your central theme is, “innovation”, you could draw a mind map to the things that the word “innovation” reminds you of or the benefits of innovation, etc.

Keep an ideas journal

Your ideas journal will serve as a bank of ideas just in case you run out if ideas and urgently need a backup idea. Your ideas journal should be basically hinged on loads and loads of research on various concepts and other ideas.


In my personal opinion, this is what makes an idea “creative” in itself. This is the ability to take series of ideas and merge them into an amazing idea.

Expand/build your experiences

Maintain an open mind to new information. The Steve Jobs’ quote above says all about this.

Develop inner eyes

Some call it intuition, some call it the “third eye” but whatever it is, develop a habit to stop taking things at face value. Develop your inner eyes to begin to search, see as well as fill missing gaps and how such gaps can be filled.

Random Associations

Sometimes all our brain needs is a trigger. You could listen to a song or do a “toss and turn” on your swivel chair and see if your brain makes any connections between the objects around and you and the idea you are trying to generate.

I hope these steps give you some insights on developing awesome ideas. Go ahead and unleash the genius in you!

About Tolani

I’m enthusiastic about Brands and Communications. I’m always eager to discover the stories that data tell; this explains my interest in Research. When I’m not developing strategies/helping the campaign team out, I’m probably watching Grey’s Anatomy or researching brands and people 🙂

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