Advice from an Expert
I hope the tips below will stimulate your mind and get those creative juices flowing
1. Accurately Define the Problem
First and foremost, you have to know what the problem is. Do not initiate anything without knowing exactly what needs to be accomplished.
2. Gather Specific Facts
I suggest that you keep an organized file of all the background material. You may type up all your research notes and materials. This way you will not only increase your familiarity with the background information, but also develop a fresh perspective on the problem.
3. Start a Reference Library
Learn as much as you can about different aspects of your business. Read books, trade publications, attend seminars and conferences. Clip and save articles pertinent to your industry. Most successful professionals are "compulsive information collectors."
5. Look for Combinations
You do not always have to come up with a brand new idea. Take existing elements and look for a new combination. For example, the clock-radio was invented by someone who combined two existing technologies- the clock and the radio.
6. Put the Problem Aside
When you come to a point where you run out of fresh ideas and lose your focus, it's okay to take a break and leave it alone for a while. Then you will be able to attack it with renewed energy and a fresh perspective.
7. Use a Checklist
A Checklist is an effective tool used by many professionals.
8. Get Some Feedback
Many professionals prefer to work alone. What they don't realize is that feedback can provide useful information and help you come up with the best, most profitable ideas. After all, there is always a better way of doing things.
9. Team Up
Make sure you team up with the right person who has the skills and thought processes that complement your own.
10. Give New Ideas a Chance
Do not criticize an idea as soon as it is presented. Do not make snap judgments and shoot it down. Make sure you spend enough time to review, analyze and edit it. Do not let it go down the drain prematurely. Many good ideas are killed that way.