In a time where the future of our work holds the threat of robots and automated processing, it’s helpful to remind ourselves of the ‘human skills’, the skills that will be most sought after in the coming years and what we can do to further develop these.
This time we’re looking at Fluency of ideas
A great skill to have is the ability to come up with an abundance of ideas in relation to a particular problem or challenge and the beauty of this skill is that these ideas don’t need to be ‘right’.
Too often, when presented with a problem we look to the things that we have done in the past with similar problems, listen to the Hippo (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) or go with the first decent idea we come up with. (Note – this is not a criticism, we are programmed to go with ‘easy’ and all of these present themselves as easier than what I’m about to suggest).
Fluency of ideas is the skill of thinking differently. It takes a little bit of discipline, a lot of imagination and an open mind. Intrigued? Try this.
1) Next time you have a challenge to solve, start by capturing everything that could resolve all or part of the problem. Write them down (as this act in itself helps us to process information differently).
2) When you’ve exhausted all of your ideas, ask yourself some challenger questions (e.g. what’s the most expensive solution to this problem? What would happen if you did nothing? What would (insert name of person) do? etc). You’ll be surprised at what further thoughts it generates!
3) Once you’ve done this, challenge yourself to come up with 3 more ideas.
You can do this alone or in groups (It’s a great team meeting activity but beware of ‘group think’ limiting ideas) or as a combination of the two.
Remember, the skill is in being able to come up with an abundance of ideas to one problem, not to come up with the ‘best’ solution. Once you have the variety of ideas you will of course be able to use that to help make an informed decision to resolve your challenge but for now enjoy the limitless of your thinking!
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