September 2011

Here’s a formula for creative thinking from Tom Monahan, former ad agency owner, Creative Director, heavy thinker, and consultant. Tom says that great ideas don’t come from creative people, they come from Creative Thinking. He outlines three steps to stimulate creative thinking and generate more ideas faster.

1. Ask a BETTER QUESTION….Don’t just ask the obvious questions, pose the “what if” and “why not” questions. What if this product didn’t exist? What if it were blue instead of green? Why not sell to women?

  • Forces us to stretch
  • Leaves a void and stimulates curiosity
  • Visit the problem as early as possible so the subconscious mind can start to work sooner
  • Write questions and answers. We remember more when we are
  • writing, doodling, walking, etc.


2. Work FAST….100 MPH

  • Go for lots of ideas FAST. Gets you through the obvious faster.
  • Write them all down.
  • Don’t start working on ANY of the ideas until you have ALL the ideas.
  • Save ALL the ideas. Look at them 2 days later.
  • Law of large numbers: If you have more ideas, you will have MORE IDEAS.
  • Let go of what you think is brilliant…find something more brilliant
  • Takes quantity to get to quality
  • Don’t judge until you have LOTS OF IDEAS…
  • Don’t be afraid of failure… people who succeed more fail more

3. 180 degree thinking.

  • Think of how to do it “wrong”
  • Do the opposite of conventional thinking
  • Instead of a BIG idea, create a SMALL idea
  • Disengages the rational mind
  • Builds failure into the process