This morning I came across an insightful article about ways to stimulate creativity written by a talented writer named Ryan Paugh, co-founder of Employee Evolution. Paugh and colleague Ryan Healy have built a website and more importantly, a network of people dedicated to helping the Millennial generation answer some of the questions they face as they move forward in life. These guys have some good stuff for any generation and their site and blogs are worth your time.
Anyone engaged in this mystery of communication knows the fear that overcomes you when your writing or your speeches begin to look, sound, and smell like that slice of last week's pizza growing strange life forms in the back of your frig. Ryan's ideas reminded me of a deck of cards on my bookshelf called the Creative Whack Pack developed by creative wizard Roger von Oech - a guy that has spent the last 30 years helping people develop their creative capabilities. (His Ph.D. from Stanford is in The History of Ideas.)
One of the cards in this amazing little deck of stimulants quotes Robert Wieder when he said, "Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport."
If you're looking for a fresh solution or a new idea for a problem you're trying to solve perhaps you need to look for possibilities in new places. When I was a kid and I'd lose something, I remember being told to look for the lost item in a place where I'd least expect to find it--a bit of advice I've found very useful.
Maybe that's good advice for those who need a fresh wave of creative ideas. Look for possibilities in unexpected places and you might be surprised with the results.