Seven hats and minds
Here’s a thought experiment that will help you wear different hats to increase the chances of finding creative solutions.
When facing a certain problem at work, on a piece of paper write 7 types of jobs that are as far from your current career as possible. For example, a nurse, a truck driver, an architect, a fire fighter, a winter sports athlete, a carpenter and a lawyer are examples far from my line of work.
Now thinking about one specific challenge you have at work, frame it as a question and write it down. “i.e. In what ways can we speed up our client’s onboarding process?”.
Write a few ideas on how to solve it in a list.
Next, using the list of jobs you have, ask again the same question of your challenge borrowing their heads this time.
For example: how would a nurse see this problem? In our example: In what ways can a nurse speed up the “onboarding” of patients?. How would a truck driver view it? “How would a truck fleet owner onboard ongoing new drivers?”
Provide a list of ideas for each one of the suggested professions and questions. Or better yet, ask someone who has this role for ideas. The more out-of-your-way the career is, the better ideas to pollinate from.
The end result will show you not only how boring your original ideas are, but how magnificent those creative juices started to flow in your head coming from different directions. You know how seven, no, eight, lists of ideas. If each list is only 10 ideas, well, you do the math.
Stay creative, while staying safe.