The ability to think bigger is what separates the average idea from the cutting edge. It’s what builds successful businesses and causes campaigns to generate buzz. Thinking bigger is the difference between a creator and a consumer.Â It’s the difference between a thought leader and cheerleader.
Within the last few days the buzz has been around Google Wave and Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing. My inbox and feed reader have been filled with more than one review praising these latest creations. Web sites such as Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and occasionally here on Social Media Explorer you’ll read reviews of the latest and most current tool or application that will make it easier for you to connect, streamline your social presence, monitoring what others are saying etc. etc. etc.
However, when was the last conversation you had with someone and you heard, “I have this idea” or “Wouldn’t be cool!” Mine was yesterday and before today is over I’m sure I’ll hear more. The challenge though is to make sure that you don’t fall into a rut, especially when you’re talking about social media, that you just don’t pimp tools and forget about developing strategies around building online communities.
It can become easy to present stale strategies because you haven’t rebuilt your seedbed of ideas. Pushing yourself to think bigger is just as much preparation as it is discipline. Your creative preparation is often times impacted by your level of exposure. The more your exposed to variety the more easier it can be to push past boundaries and enlarge your ability to think bigger than you have in the past.
Below are just a few things that I have done to help me to think bigger and stimulate creativity. They may work for you.
“The ability to think bigger is what separates the average idea from the cutting edge.”
- Read and study books and blogs outside of your area of expertise
- Broaden your worldview and read newspapers from around the world
- Tour and study manufacturing companies to be able to grasp the importance of process
- Travel internationally to enlarge your worldview
- Visit art galleries and try to visualize the artist’s creation through the eyes of the artist
- Study musicians and watch the process of new music from conception to performance
- Read military history to be able to visualize strategy and execution
- Study martial arts to be able to embrace mental and physical discipline
- Study graphic novels so that you can see how stories can be visualized
- Explore the gaming community and then consider what your idea would look like if it were presented in a gaming format.
- Visit the areas in your city where businesses have moved out and windows are boarded up and then ask the question, “What could have been done to prevent this?”
- Become a student of trends
- Think portable or mobile
- Build a collection of case studies ideas and strategies that got it right.
- Read magazines from a vast array of topics
While I know this is just one person’s approach, knowing what you do to stimulate creativity would be just an educational as the techniques I have mentioned above.
That being said, “What do you do?” How do you push yourself to think bigger instead of just repackaging old ideas?
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