Edward deBono stipulates that a truly creative idea will be logical in hindsight but that logic may not be used alone to arrive at the idea in the first place. This is a rather interesting characteristic of creativity. The path cannot be discovered until the destination has been created. I'm toying with this idea and how it may be used to promote further creative thinking.
You've got your idea. It might be great. It might have the potential to be great and just need a bit of polish. Let's see what we can do with it.
Well, taking the idea that creativity will be logical in hindsight, we can use this to our advantage. Instead of telling someone your idea, see if you can get them to arrive at your creative destination by simply asking them questions.
This works in several ways:
The general approach is that you may not tell them anything directly. All you can do is ask them questions. It doesn't have to be a fixed set of questions. You can alter the questions as you go depending on the answers you get but you must stick to only questions.
For some ideas, this approach will only work if the person you are asking has enough existing knowledge in the required area. It is not a universal approach but I think it can be very useful as one avenue of attack. Let's look at an example.
Say you come up with an ingenious way to redesign a train platform indicator board so it is much easier to identify which train you should get on, which platform it will be on and when it will arrive. You may lead someone to your solution with questions such as:
Some of these questions may need to lead to a certain extent but the more you can make them open ended, the better your feedback will be. You may need to practice a bit before you get good at leading people with questions too so don't get disapointed if your first attempt isn't that elegant.
Give it a try and see how you go. Did you learn anything? Would you change the approach in any way?
You're on your way to becoming a Highly Creative Person.