Another dispatch from my never-ending quest for more effective harnessing of inspiration: “How to Have Kick-Ass Ideas,” Chris Barez-Brown’s new book about jump-starting your (hopefully) innate creativity. Title’s a little goofy and there are a few too many full-page cartoony bits, but there are two sections in particular that I love:
1. Barez-Brown sets up a nifty framework for the idea generation process: Insight (what is your issue) +Ideas (what to do) +Impact (choose the one that creates energy and “let it rip”). Am thinking that one reason some of our agency brainstorms go awry is that the meeting organizers are looking for “what to do” solutions, but the attendees are swirling and twirling trying to come up with the “what is your issue” solution. Which leads to frustration all around.
2. Barez-Brown talks a lot of about the capacity of the subconscious as a font of information and insight, and how to better access it. Validated one of my personal tricks, which is to meditate on a work problem as I’m drifting off to sleep. More often than not, flashes of insight come out of that chilled-out space that’s neither awake nor asleep. And sure enough (aided in part by the nighttime cough syrup I’m taking right now), I was drifting off with this book in my hands last night and flashed on the solution to a work question I’ve been puzzling over all week. Bless you, subconscious! (Then the only problem was rousing myself to grab the pad and pen from my nightstand to capture the thought before it rippled away on a babbling brook of codeine and fatigue…)
Am inspired to approach idea generation this week through the Insight+Ideas+Impact framework. We’ll see how it works.