21 Days To A Big Idea by Bryan Mattimore

“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel Prize winner.

There are simple yet powerful creative thinking techniques that unleash the creative potential of groups to help generate “lots of ideas.” But what if you don’t have the help of a group? The 21 Days to a Big Idea thinking program created by creativity guru Bryan Mattimore is designed to help individuals create a large number of ideas on an on-going basis… from which one or two might well prove to be the “Big Idea!”

The 21-day program is divided into four sections:

Discovering your passion

Five creative thinking strategies for discovering idea opportunities

Nine creative techniques for generating big ideas

Choosing and developing the best ideas

Even though the program is designed to be taken over a twenty-one day period by devoting about an hour each day of creative thinking time, it doesn’t have to be completed on consecutive days. Nor does it even have to be taken alone. It’s easy to form a “big idea club” with co-workers, friends or family to meet whenever you have an hour of time, maybe once or twice a month.

To get started, you’ll need a journal (your “Big Idea” notebook) to record your ideas. This will help you keep track of all the ideas that come out of creativity exercises you’ll be using in the program.

Day #1: Discovering Your Inventive Passion

Take a moment to think about how you hope to feel when you finish this book summary. What will you be thinking? What will you have gotten out of it? Be specific.

Now, take a moment to think about “a success footprint” for a new idea you want to create. Identify the characteristics of that successful idea that would make it a great idea, before you know what that idea actually is! For instance, you might ask, “What could my idea be worth?” “To whom might it most appeal?” “What’s could be its biggest benefit?” Or even, “Where, when or how might it work?”

Building a success footprint for an idea you’ve yet to create will not only help you judge the relative value of the new ideas you do create… it’ll also help you to persevere until you find that one big idea that meets your original “success footprint” criteria.

Day #2: Courting Your Passion

Create a list of arenas for new products, services, or business concepts you’re passionate about. Try to write down at least 30. Generating this many “arenas of passion” will help open the world of creative possibilities. Are you be excited about inventing a new children’s toy or game, household product or tool; a new service for artists, or non-profit to help retirees; an international travel shopping service or a time saving device for commuters?

Day #3: Finding the Right Stimuli

To push ideas to the next level – ask yourself, “What will make my idea both different from and superior to what’s currently on the market?”

Day #4: What’s Your Problem? The First of Five Creative Thinking Strategies

Find a problem that you want to solve. Since we know that quantity leads quality, try to come up with twenty different problems.

Day #5: Solving Problems… and Finding New Ones

Now, with your twenty problems, do your best to come up with some solutions. Sometimes addressing one problem challenge may help you solve another.