Creativity techniques you should give a try
Finding inspiration for cool new content
Are you looking for unique ideas to spruce up your content strategy? There are more than 350 creativity techniques that you and your team could try! All of them are tried and tested methods to spark your creativity and find new ideas. To identify new ideas and topics with an added value, you can make use of various online tools and creative offline techniques.
After all, good content starts with good ideas. And with the right technique, it’s easy to find them! Read on to discover our favourite creativity techniques …
The 6-3-5 method
One of our favourite creativity techniques is the 6-3-5 method. It helps you to generate a large pool of ideas in as little as 30 minutes. To work with this method, you need six participants. It doesn’t matter whether they’re familiar with the technique or not – everyone can make a valuable contribution!
How the 6-3-5 method works:
- You need six worksheets with three columns and five lines each. At the top of every sheet, you write a question or word. This can be a quite general search term or an overall topic. Of course, you can use our sample worksheet – just download it and print it out!
Example: The topic of your session is “bicycles”. Start by writing category terms such as “mountain bike”, “e-bike” or “road bike” down on the individual sheets. Ideally, a round starts with six worksheets and six different category terms.
- Every participant receives a sheet and has three to five minutes to write down three ideas for every category (in our case: mountain bike, e-bike, road bike) in the first line. When the time is up, sheets are passed on to the next participant in a clockwise direction.
- Next up, every participant adds three new ideas or evolves those written down by the previous participant. Then it’s time to swap the sheets again.
- Repeat this process until every sheet is back with the first participant who wrote on it. Like this, every participant should have worked on every sheet.
Following this process, you now have six lists featuring a total of 108 ideas building on one another. While you probably won’t be able to use all of them for your content strategy, you will surely pick up some emerging topics. An additional advantage: It’s fun to see which – often quite unexpected – ideas your colleagues come up with!
Benefit of the 6-3-5 method: The team generates unusual “outside-the-box” ideas.
Brainstorming is the classic among creativity techniques – and a useful way to start your topic research. It works particularly well for creating a basis for the 6-3-5 method. The advantage: Brainstorming can be done by any number of participants, from individuals to groups. However, as a rule of thumb, more participants will yield better results.
The technique is easy to apply: The host presents the participants with a term, an image or a video. Now everyone is free to contribute whatever comes to mind – there’s no right or wrong! This stage of the creative process is strictly about collecting ideas, not about discussing them.
The principles of brainstorming:
- Get people on board who are happy to share their thoughts and ideas!
- It’s forbidden to criticize any comments, suggestions or ideas!
- Try to turn off your “inner censor”!
- Don’t shy away from suggesting impossible things!
- Work with the ideas of others and evolve them!
- The more fanciful your ideas, the better!
- Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself!
Although brainstorming is a very popular method for finding new ideas, there are quite a few mistakes you can make. Our recommendation: Be open to ALL ideas!
The Walt Disney method
The Walt Disney method is a more precise creativity technique. It was named after the famous filmmaker who is said to have used it. The method helps you to look at a certain topic from different perspectives. Unlike other methods, it combines the processes of finding, examining and evaluating ideas.
The three roles:
- The Dreamer: enthusiastic people with a rich imagination. They have a playful way of thinking and let their imagination run wild without thinking about feasibility.
- The Realist: people who think in a pragmatic and practical way. They deal with the actual implementation of ideas and identify the required steps and resources.
- The Critic: people who offer constructive, positive criticism. They point out an idea’s strengths and weaknesses and assess it for potential risks.
We recommend trying this technique with a team of five to six participants. In line with the three styles of thinking, this method consists of three phases: the Dreamer’s phase, the Realist’s phase and the Critic’s phase. Each phase lasts about 20 minutes, after which all three perspectives are repeated.
- After having determined the topic or question of your session, all participants start out by adopting the role of the Dreamer. Important: This phase involves no criticism or evaluation! It’s only about generating ideas. If you want, you can split this phase up into ten minutes of individual thinking and ten minutes of presenting your ideas so that you also have your ideas written down.
Questions you might ask during the Dreamer’s phase: In an ideal world, what would the situation look like? What would you like to get out of this topic? What would be completely crazy and unique?
- Following this first phase, the team members adopt the role of the Realist. Now you work with the ideas generated during the Dreamer’s phase, trying to evolve and substantiate them.
Questions you might ask during the Realist’s phase: What do we need to turn this idea into reality? What information are we lacking? Who takes care of what?
- For the final phase, all participants adopt the role of the Critic. This stage of the method is all about criticising the ideas you worked on in the previous phases.
Questions you might ask during the Critic’s phase: What did we miss? What are the weaknesses of our ideas? What’s bound to fail? Where are the risks?
Take the weaknesses and questions identified in this round and use them to start a second or third round until all team members are happy with the solution.
The advantage: The Walt Disney method is useful for defining content goals. It helps you to make balanced, well-founded decisions and to identify different perspectives.
Creativity techniques are valuable tools to boost your topic research. One thing is true for all of them: The more motivated people join in, the better the results will be.
Do you need help with planning your content strategy? Get in touch with the experts at punkt & komma!