3 Colours Rule is a creative branding and design agency specialised in luxury and fashion sectors. We help brands achieve their revenue goals through strategic branding and creative design. After working for years with established brands, we now help entrepreneurs and SMEs unleash their full potential through strategic branding and creative design. In this article, we disclose methods to improve your creativity.

Some people are more creative than others, certainly not because of a gene, but most likely thanks to a specific social construction that helped them integrate naturally creative reflexes and methods, basically, those people managed to be more creative without having to think twice about it. Luckily, those for whom generating new ideas is not the strong suit, creativity can be learned. It has been studied, theorised and explained. We made a selection of our favourite creativity hacks. For most of them, they are insightful ways of enhancing your classic brainstorming.

QUESTIONS

When facing a problem, ask yourself “why?” five times: Why is it happening, then elaborate from each answer.

Here is an example:

Your client is refusing to pay for the leaflets you printed for them.

Why? The delivery was late, so the leaflets couldn’t be used.

Why? The job took longer than we anticipated.

Why? We ran out of printer ink.

Why? The ink was all used up on a big, last-minute order.

Why? We didn’t have enough in stock, and we couldn’t order it in quickly enough.

We need to find a supplier who can deliver ink at very short notice.

This technique is quite easy to use and often very effective to identify the root of a problem.

Creativity-question

REVERSE BRAINSTORMING

Reversing a problem may seem odd, but it’s very useful when the creative juice stopped flowing. Thus, instead of thinking about how to solve a problem, try to determine what can cause it or if you brainstorm about how to achieve these results, ask yourself how to do the opposite. This methodology encourages creative thought and may bring up new angles and idea within you team.

Here is an example:

How to improve our company customer service?

How to worsen our company customer service?

THE OSBORN CHECKLIST

Then again, this checklist is a series of questions to extend the range of an idea, to improve it or just to get past a problem. This is a great extension of the brainstorming technique because it helps building into ideas already suggested. Here are the questions you need to answer:

Put to other uses? As it is?… If modified?

Adapt? Is there anything else like this? What does this tell you? Is the past comparable?

Modify? Give it a new angle? Alter the colour, sound, odour, meaning, motion, and shape?

Magnify? Can anything be added, time, frequency, height, length, strength? Can it be duplicated, multiplied or exaggerated?

Minify? Can anything be taken away? Made smaller? Lowered? Shortened? Lightened? Omitted? Broken up?

Substitute? Different ingredients used? Other material? Other processes? Other place? Other approach? Other tone of voice? Someone else?

Rearrange? Swap components? Alter the pattern, sequence or layout? Change the pace or schedule? Transpose cause and effect?

Reverse? Opposites? Backwards? Reverse roles? Change shoes? Turn tables? Turn other cheek? Transpose ‘+/-‘?

Combine? Combine units, purposes, appeals or ideas? A blend, alloy, or an ensemble?

Red ballpoint pen with ticks in checkboxes. Good paper texture, close-up view.

RANDOM INPUT

Very easy to use, the random word method requires everyone in your team to be open minded. It especially applies to creating new ideas, products. The first step is to confront your team with a completely random noun, and then ask everybody to elaborate on this word. When using random input, you must resist the temptation to think that the word has nothing to do with your problem. The all point is to take you to places you hadn’t imagined. Therefore, by associations of ideas, your team may eventually come across an innovative idea that applies to your problem.

Here is an example:

A Campbell’s soup team was brainstorming for a new product and they introduced the random word: apartment. Without any logic they just let their ideas flow thus leading apartment to building, build, tools, hammer, saw, drill, knife and finally fork. That’s the moment where someone on the team realised that you can’t eat soup with a fork, the chunky soup was born.

Creativity-random

LIMITATIONS

We strongly advise to apply this method as much as you can. It consists is setting up clear limitations to your teams before addressing an issue. Along with the business sector, many artists define limitations for their work in order to enhance their creativity.

Here is an example:

This product cost cannot exceed 10 pounds.

We will only use cardboard to manufacture this chair.

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