- Look at a problem in may different ways. Much like Leonardo da Vinci did in looking at his creations from multiple vantage points. He drew the different points of view. (And the added benefit if you draw is that maybe some day you will be famous too.)
- Make your thoughts visible. Diagrams are an excellent tool to make your thoughts visible. (Hey it worked for Galileo).
- Produce a lot. And this means alot. Edison is famous for this as is Issac Asimov, who wrote 450 books. To my way of thinking this is similar to Gladwell's 10,000 hours concept as found in Outliers: The Story of Success.
- Combine Things in new ways. New relationships of well-known concepts or ideas may spark something for you. It worked for Albert Einstein with E=mc2 (2 =squared). No one had thought of combining energy, mass and the speed of light together.
- Force Relationships. Samuel Morse came up with the solution to weak telegraph signals one day by watching a team of horses being switched out at a relay station thus getting the idea of boosting the signal as it went along the wires. (Hmmm... how can I apply that to HR?)
- Think in opposites. What if we ate dessert before dinner or we grew younger rather than older. (Benjamin Button anyone?) How might this apply to incentives versus rewards?
- Think metaphorically. Can you recognize resemblences between very different situations? Take a lesson from Aristotle.
- Prepare for the benefits of chance. Chance happens. As Louis Pasteur said "Luck favors the prepared mind."
Thinking creatively will help you overcome one major problem PARADIGM PARALYSIS. Paradigm paralysis can best be described by the sentence "We have always done it that way because.... " How many times have we heard that a collegue or manager? Well don't let them get away with it. And don't allow yourself to be lulled into thinking this way.
So think creatively... become an HR genius.