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Do you need to brainstorm ideas and aren’t sure where to start? We all have opportunities to come up with solutions for customers. How we approach the process makes a big impact on the outcome. Finding new ways to tackle a challenge is the inspiration for this article based on the strategies found in the book Creative Confidence Unleashing The Creative Potential Within us All” by bestselling authors and co-founders of IDEO Tom Kelley and David Kelley.

Check out these 8 steps shared by Tom and David Kelley to help you turn a blank page into a canvas filled with fresh ideas.

8 Steps to Brainstorming New Ideas

1. Choose Creativity: before starting to come up with new ideas, decide first that you want to try a new method of problem solving.

2. Think like a Traveler: Remember what it was like to go someplace new. Tap into that feeling of wonderment and be open to seeing the world differently.

3. Engage Relaxed Attention: One of the best times to create ideas is when you are still, or your mind is quiet. Take note of what comes into your mind and write it down.

4. Empathize with Your End User: Visualize your ideal customer avatar and what they need right now. Empathy is one of the most powerful tools to generate new ideas.

5. Do Observations in the Field: Look for things that are out of sight and not obvious. Imagine you are an explorer and what might you find during your journey?

6. Ask Questions Starting with “Why”: Ask your customer or potential new customer-why are they doing something in a certain way-instead of trying something new.

7. Re-frame Challenges: Consider how you can ask a question from a different point of view.

8. Build a Creative Support Network: Collaboration is one of the best ways to develop new ideas. This is your chance to tap into Her NetWorks and develop solutions with other like-minded entrepreneurs.

Next Step-Take Action

Once you have decided on the problem you want to solve, it is time to put in motion your idea. David and Tom Kelley suggest 3 tips to taking action.

  1. Start with one “doable” piece to the problem. At the end of the brainstorm session, prioritize your needs.
  2. Narrow your goal-don’t start with a monumental problem, look for something that you can impact.
  3. Create milestones-it is very helpful to establish deadlines and include interim touch points so it isn’t here is the challenge and then here is the solution. Having progress check points along the way makes it much easier to manage and arrive at the goal.

David and Tom Kelley have so many great insights in this book and at the end there are tangible exercises you so you can practice your creative confidence muscle.  Check it and be sure you are also reaching out to your community here for support!