To Think More Creatively, Get Advice from Someone Outside Your Field

April 9, 2018

When it comes to solving tough problems, tried-and-true methods can help — but they might hold you back from discovering a creative solution. If you’re in a rut with a particular problem, one way to break out is to solicit advice from unlikely sources — those who will see the issue in a completely different way. You don’t want experts in your discipline: If you’re working on a technology challenge, and you’ve talked to 10 technologists, the opinion of an 11th isn’t going to make a difference. Get ideas from someone outside your field. If you’re a consultant, for example, ask a musician or an improv comedian how they would solve the problem. And don’t discount their ideas just because they “don’t understand how things are done” at your company. The goal is for their outside perspective to help you see past your assumptions.

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