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Is Your Idea Rut Hurting Your Business?

Aug 17, 2007
In both life and business, a great idea may be all that separates the winners from the also-rans, the remembered from the forgotten. Take two random business owners, each working all the hours they can and with similar expertise and resources. The only difference is that one of them earns about ten times as much as the other. The reason? Idea implementation. The rich guy has learned to leverage his business with new ideas and take action on them, while the poor guy slaves away with the same old processes and systems. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut of worn out ideas and techniques and your business is suffering as a result, try some of these techniques to widen your perspective.

1. Take a different viewpoint - This may require some imagination but can be very rewarding. Imagine how different people may approach the problems in the business - it could be anyone from the elderly lady next door to the man on the street. The point here is the approach, not the solution. Seeing the same things from many different angles will unlock your brain and let you realize solutions that you may not have otherwise considered.

2. Make a flowchart of your business - it may take a while if you are unfamiliar with such things, but break every aspect down into its component processes. This will give you insights that you never dreamed of, and often the solutions will be so simple that you will be cursing for not seeing them sooner!

3. Break Things Down - Find out what the smaller problems are, and tackle them first. The experience you gain by solving them combined with the increasing efficiency of the business will make it much easier for you to tackle the larger problems when they arise.

4. Use A Different Media - If you usually brainstorm ideas and new products by writing them list form with a pen and pad, stop for a second and try to use sketches instead, or maybe even word process them. Working in slightly different ways like this can be a great way to warm up sections of the brain that aren't usually used, and using any visual method such as drawing or painting can be excellent stimulation.

5. Randomize it all - Take your list of ideas and draw rings around certain groups of them at random. Once you have several clusters of ideas grouped together at random, take each group and force yourself to find new ideas combining 2 or more of the ideas. This is an excellent way to trick your brain into breaking out of its creative comfort zone, and will often lead you to discoveries you wouldn't make otherwise.

6. Turn it on its head - Instead of making a list of problems with the business and trying to solve it that way, why not make a list of things that work well already, and try and make them work even better? This yet another way of changing up things inside the brain and forcing it to work slightly differently. Any deviation we can make the brain take is good, as it will mean the outcome is slightly different each time, resulting in more diverse and well thought out ideas.

7. Make Some Comparisons - Think up some other situations/environments comparable to the problems facing your business. How were those problems solved elsewhere? What can you learn from those solutions? You may find comparisons anywhere, from the histories of your favorite sports team to the stories behind famous wartime battles. Just remember we are not looking to copy exact tactics, just to gain inspiration from other people's methods of thinking. This is a great technique, and the number of ways you can implement it is virtually limitless.

The decline of a business due to lack of creative input or growth can be one of the most unnecessary declines in the business world, usually because all it needs as a remedy is some fresh thinking. A decline like this can be hard on everyone involved, especially so for the business owner. Don't let it happen to you, use these fresh ideas to keep your business safe!
About the Author
Dave Origano runs the Daily Brilliant Idea service, which gives you those insights that helped him and many others create highly successful businesses. For more information on why this single service is all you ever need, check out the Daily Brilliant Idea service
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