Course Pack: How to have Ideas

The tools and resources here, bring together and share much of what we cover in our How to Have Ideas workshop. You'll find session slides, digital gizmos and lots of recommended reading/listening and watching to further spark your mind.
Took part in the session? Why not take your team through it to kickstart their thinking and cement what you learned?
“If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.”
Albert Einstein

Video Nuggets from the mind of Nick Eagleton

In a series of short videos, shot at YCN, creative director and Saboteur co-founder Nick boils down some of the best tools and tips on idea generation from our How to have Ideas live workshop. From forging to connections, to setting your ideas on fire — they're all very easy to discover, share, try and apply.

Resources and recommended reading

Watch: Steve Harrison on the creative process.

Steve has run lots of creative agencies, and developed lots of thinking on ideas. We asked him for some pointers on film.

He described the importance of getting your first ideas down quickly — and what the brain's 'dark web' does in the process. See Steve's films, shot in the Library at YCN, here.


Try: Round Robin Brainstorming

A collaborative brainstorming technique for turbo-charging your idea generation that plays out like a picture consequences or mad libs for the mind. Try it today for greater ideation, and to group brainstorm in a way that allows quieter voices to shine through.


Read: A summary of James Webb Young's brilliant primer on the creative process — A Technique for Producing Ideas, at Farnam Street.


Do: Visual Collisions (eCourse)

A quick 10-15 minute eCourse on a playful and punchy idea generation technique reminiscent of Steve Jobs' famous line "creativity is just connecting things." Try it solo or in teams for a creative boost today.

Visual Pair

Try: Edward de Bono's 'Six Thinking Hats'

A tried and tested piece of 'mental software,' from psychologist, philosopher, inventor and father of lateral thinking Edward de Bono for exploring each and every avenue of a problem/decision, and generating both interesting alternatives and original creative ideas.


Read and Do: 15 creative exercises better than brainstorming.


Watch: Adam Grant at Ted. The surprising habits of original thinkers.


25 books

Nick Eagleton knows that there have been a lot of books written about ideas and creativity, because he's read them all. And here are 25 of them.

More Resources