1. Spend fifteen minutes a day asking questions that challenge the status quo. Instead of asking “How”, use questions that begin with “Why” and “What if”.
2. Seek out new experiences. If you typically read nonfiction texts, read a fiction book. If you usually choose business publications from the magazine stand, visit another category once in a while, such as home and gardening or arts and antiques. Attend conferences outside of your industry. Volunteer for local events that have nothing to do with your job. Take every opportunity to travel. Researches have documented that the more countries a person has lived in, the more likely is the person to leverage that experience to create innovative ideas, processes, or methods.
3. Hire outside of conventional norms. Recall what Steve Jobs said about the people who designed and marketed the original Macintosh. The team was successful because it included musicians, artists, poets, and scientists. Organizational psychologists and innovative design firms have discovered that the most creative teams are diverse, composed of people with vastly different, but complementary, talents, skills, and experiences.
4. Use analogies or metaphors to think about a problem. By finding the similarities between two things that are unalike, your brain makes new and sometimes profound connections.
5. Leave your comfort zone from time to time. Doing so is critical for the creative process to thrive.
6. Don’t live in fear of the new. Embrace change. Embrace diversity or opinion and experience.