Top Ten Creative Rules of Thumb

  1. The best way to get a great idea is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.
  2. Create ideas that are fifteen minutes ahead of their time… not light years ahead.
  3. Always look for a second right answer.
  4. If at first you don’t succeed… take a break.
  5. Write down your idea before you foget them.
  6. If everyone says you’re wrong, you’re one step ahead. If everyone laughs at you, you’re two steps ahead.
  7. The answer to your problem “pre-exists.” You need to ask the right question to reveal the answer.
  8. When you ask a dumb question, you get a smart answer.
  9. Never solve a problem from its original perspective.
  10. Visualize your problem as solved before solving it.

This is Charles “Chic” Thompson’s list from his excellent book, What a Great Idea! 2.0, ©1992, published by HarperPerennial. His book “gives you the tools to become a creative manager, to help you find the right questions, develop new ideas successfully, and to make continuous improvement as a way of life.”