How do people find the creative inspiration necessary for generating unique ideas and solutions? Where do creativity and ideation fit into our day at work?
At a recent Learning Solutions conference, Catherine Lombardozzi (author of Learning Environments by Design) invited me to join her in facilitating an early morning discussion on Creative Inspiration. The number of people who come to these early sessions is always a pleasant surprise! We arranged our seats in a circle, which is more conducive to a discussion and the fun began. I took notes and here are some of the ideas that we tossed around. Please add your favorite ways to get inspired in the Comments section.
- Understand creativity: Download the Creativity Boost resources that Catherine has created at L4LP.
- Designer Portfolios: Look for inspiration in designer portfolio sites, such as dribbble.com and behance.com. There are many others. (See 21 Ways to Get Visual Ideas.)
- Videos: Check out the recordings from the eLearning Guild.
- Books: Look through idea books, particularly children’s books. One person mentioned author Mo Williams as an inspiration. Here are some examples:
- The Online Learning Idea Book Volume 1 by Patti Shank
- The Online Learning Idea Book Volume 2, edited by Patti Shank
- 101 Ways to Make Training Active by Mel Silberman (for instructor-led training, a little old but can be adapted)
- Search tools: For image ideas, especially how to conceptualize something abstract, search in Google images and stock photo sites.
- Demos: Go to eLearning demo sites to find examples that you can rework for your purpose.
- Games: Analyze and examine the structure of games. Diagram the structure.
- Brainstorm #1: Brainstorm with people in other fields and walks of life.
- Brainstorm #2: Brainstorm alone and then come together. You may get better ideas by allowing people to brainstorm on their own and then bring their ideas on sticky notes to the meeting. Everyone places their unsigned sticky notes on a whiteboard.
- Visualize: Create visualizations and visual metaphors using the eLearning Brothers PowerPoint Graphic Library—scroll down at the page to see samples.
- Collections: Collect a portfolio of ideas online or in a folder that you can access when you’re stuck.
- Hackathons: Run Hackathons, where a group of people come together and form teams that collaborate to create innovative solutions.
- Masterminds: Create mastermind groups that meet regularly and discuss innovative ideas.
- Converse: Just go out there and converse with people—audience members, peers, people from other departments.
- Change environments: Get out of the office and into another environment, even if it’s just for a short walk
- Low buzz: Try using Coffitivity, which replicates the ambient sound of a coffee shop, overlaid with your favorite music for working
- Music: Look for music playlists on the streaming services that are specifically curated for writing. I’ve found many on Spotify.
- Diagram ideas: Use the Duarte Diagrammer for visualizing ideas.
- Tools list: Tracy Parish has curated a gigantic tools list and you may find inspiration using some of these tools.
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