jim morrison.pngOr Elon Musk. Or Tina Fey. Heck, even Darth Vader himself. Any of these public figures will do - it doesn’t matter if they’re fictional or not. It might sound crazy, but if you take twenty minutes and look at your project (or challenge) through their eyes, you’ll see possibilities you hadn’t noticed before.

Bryan Mattimore, president and co-founder of The Growth Engine, LLC, calls this the “Great Thinkers Method.” He says it’s a reliable tool that’s gotten the creative juices flowing during hundreds of brainstorming sessions and focus groups he’s held with CEOs of major corporations and startups alike. Described as a way to “invite great thinkers into you ideation sessions,” this exercise involves members of the think tank to role play as a thought leader or fictional character and approach the dilemma from their perspective.

“You’d be surprised,” Mattison said during his workshop at the first annual Kintone Connect conference in early November. “It sounds kind of flaky, but it’s not. It gives people permission, especially introverts. Often they have really good ideas and you miss those sometimes.” 

During this 90-minute seminar called “Creating ‘A Big Idea’ Toolkit,"  Mattison shared invaluable tips and tricks to generate, catch, and nurture big ideas that have helped companies reach profitable creative breakthroughs that increased their sales up to 50% in some cases.

When you play the Great Thinkers game, that person a.) if they’re an introvert, may come alive because they’re playing a role. ‘Well I’m Da Vinci now, and Da Vinci would say such and such,' b.) If you’re have somebody who’s taking over the meeting, it may shut them up.”

This role play technique is a creative way to bypass some of the more self-conscious emotional mechanisms that prevent us from accessing our most valuable ideas.

“This stuff may seem ridiculous, but I’m sharing them with you only because they work,” Mattison said. “You need to create an environment where some of these ridiculous excursions actually work. You need to build in permission to do these things.” 

Activities such as the Great Thinkers Method are just one of the many instruments you can use to unlock untapped creative potential that’s waiting to be expressed among your colleagues and stakeholders. They help spark an idea that ignites the imagination which creates a bright and beautiful vision that generates enough enthusiasm to draw people in. 

But what’s the biggest blockage to accessing our most valuable creative ideas, aside from feeling resistance or criticism from your environment?

FREE DOWNLOAD: Ideation Worksheet for Unlocking Innovative New Ideas

“Assumptions,” Mattison says. To be exact, the basic, fundamental assumptions that we make about our the products and services we offer to our customers.

You can listen to Mattison explain these concepts and more in the entire video of his keynote speech, embedded below.  

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