I was going to start this blog with - Now's the time for creative thinking - but that misses the point. We shouldn't wait for a crisis to shout out the virtues of creative thinking; it should be what we do every day.
Last week we ran two creative thinking sessions and six of us came up with over 100 ideas. Both were about an hour long. We've already implemented some new directions as a result and are still working through the others.
What techniques did we use? Brainwriting, random links and scratching. Here's a rundown of all three. Brainwriting involves each person working independently to come up with ideas. They then swap their ideas with one other person. This second person then adds to the ideas, either by adding new elements and coming up with brand new ones. You can then swap once or twice more. I guarantee you'll come up with more ideas than brainstorming.
Random links involves giving people pictures of random places, things, animals - anything in fact. Then they make associations with them.
Lastly scratching (my favourite) works really well. Usually this involves each person going to a location they wouldn't normally ever go to and scratching for ideas and associations. Under lockdown, we picked the kitchen and one other room in each person's house to scratch in.
All of these techniques are free and they work. See if you can get over 100 this week. Good luck!