Shelford Chandler is Creative Director at Giant Steps. Here Shelford gives us a few tips on how curiosity can stimulate creative thinking.
Curiosity for me is all about going out of your way to seek fresh perspectives. Whether its curiosity driven by a particular challenge you face or something a bit more impulsive, the fresh perspectives you gain from it can disrupt your usual ways of thinking, help you make new connections and stimulate new ideas.
If you want to plan some curiosity into your everyday work/life, try some of the following...
1. Reading something you’d never usually read
If you use a blog reader like bloglovin’ click a subject that would never usually spark your interest and learn something unexpected, or pick a magazine or book recommended by someone else.
2. Spend time in someone else’s shoes
Spending time in someone else’s shoes is about finding ways to experience what they experience, do the things they do, eat where they eat, feel how they feel. Endless possibilities, endless fresh perspectives.
“At Unilever we go straight to the consumer to gather insights that will lead to breakthrough ideas and communication…it’s critical to get personally down-and-dirty in this process; focus groups and quantitative research have their place, but are in no way replacements for first-hand, direct, consumer contact” ~ Dave Rubin, previously Brand Building Vice President, US Hair, Unilever, now Head of Brand at Pinterest
3. Practice some everyday ‘randomness’
Even the smallest changes to your daily routines can give you fresh perspectives. Take an alternative route to work, go to a different coffee shop, shop at a different store; look out for differences, the things you spot could influence your whole day, or your whole life!
4. Get out of the office and people watch
Rather than eating lunch at your desk go somewhere new, maybe listen to random conversations and watch what’s going on.
Bonus: studies show that the background buzz in your typical coffee shop provides a highly conducive environment for creative thinking.
5. Be consciously curious
Be more aware of surroundings, observe more and follow the habit of most creative types by keeping a notebook of the things you see.
6. Lastly, steal shamelessly
Some good advice (stolen) from Paul Arden’s book, Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite:
‘Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination...remember what Jean-Luc Godard said, “It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.”’