6 Ways to Stimulate Creative Insights

Insights-IdeasWhat practical things can we do to stimulate fresh ideas, creative insights and new thinking? This is key to managers and leaders who must be prepared for rapidly changing marketplace demands.

“You are more likely to have creative insights and valid intuitions when your brain is in a general state characterized by remote associations, broad flexible attention, abstract thought, positive mood, a sense of psychological distance, and a promotion orientation.”~ Kounias and Beeman, The Eureka Factor.

To summarize Kounias and Beeman, you are more likely to have creative insights and valid intuitions when your brain state is characterized by:

  1. Remote associations
  2. Broad flexible attention
  3. Abstract thought
  4. Positive mood
  5. A sense of psychological distance
  6. A promotion orientation

What they suggest is diversity and change of mindset. Change everyday routines. Interact with diverse people and situations. Non-conformists can be strange but their creative thinking is contagious; being around them primes the brain for enhanced insightfulness.

8 Tips to Enhance Insightfulness

The threat of a deadline narrows your thinking and restricts ideas. While it’s impractical to always be taking breaks and incubating without producing results, if you maintain a creative thinking mindset, you’ll be prepared when the time comes to produce.

Even if you don’t have time to sculpt an ideal environment, a few thinking strategies can help you become more creative:

  1. Periodically consider your larger goals and values, and how you can promote them.
  2. Reserve time for long-range planning and distant dreaming.
  3. Cultivate a positive mood by thinking about the people and things that bring you joy.
  4. Schedule vacations that will stimulate your creative thinking.
  5. Do something new or study a hobby or topic unrelated to your occupation.
  6. Walk, run, engage in a physical activity to promote brain growth.
  7. Meditate and disengage periodically.
  8. Get ample sleep to rejuvenate brain cells, improve associative thinking, and consolidate memories.

The research is clear: leaders will want to spend as much time and energy on new ideas as in perfecting performance errors. Both will lead to high performance.

Where have you found your best ideas? I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me here and on LinkedIn.

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