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What are Ideas?

In the vocabulary of daily speech, the word idea is generally used to name the 'content' of our own minds -- things that each of us has in his or her own mind. It is never really some light bulb moment that occurs where one realises an insight that no one else has. In truth there are few of those ocurrences. Great actionable ideas are however a collection of much smaller ideas weaved together in such a way as to create something useful unique and compelling. There are generally termed “aha” moments. Conjuring up great ideas as aha moments certainly require lots of perspiration, iteration and ideation.

What do Ideas and Creativity have in common?

Creativity is a mental and social process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts. People differ greatly in their ability to think creatively. One type of creativity is the spontaneous generation of new ideas of which some people are capable; extreme examples of this type of creativity are people like Mozart and Edison. Another kind of creativity is the ability to discern connections and relationships between existing facts or phenomena. Some people are creative on their own; others thrive on interaction with others.

Creativity = Ideas but Innovation = Ideas + Action
What Tools and Techniques might help inspire Creative Ideas?
Here are a few descriptions of critical principles about being creative, courtesy of http://www.creativeminds.org

Defining the problem is the first step of solving a creative problem. This is a very important stage, as changing the problem definition will change the solution. The following tools help look at a problem in different ways and hence consider alternatives for the problem definition.

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Here are a few more tools for creating ideas, either individually or with other people

Once a set of ideas have been created, the next step is to converge by selecting an idea to take forward for further development.
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The most difficult stage of creative problem solving is getting other people to buy into your idea. Here are a few idea-creating tools.