“As you get closer and closer to the show, the pressure increases, and you start running out of time and that’s when more and more of the key decisions are made.” – Conan O’Brien
Whether you are in comedy, starting a business, writing a presentation, or planning for the future, you need ideas. Ideas need creativity. In this great article from Fast Company, Conan O’Brien gives his secrets on how he and his team spark creativity. Here’s what he can teach us about idea generation:
- Constraints, such as time, actually help the process. You are forced to make key decisions when time is running out. Decisions that would never be made unless you were forced to make them.
- Brainstorming is about 90% “bull-shitting” until the team can latch onto an idea and build something that works.
- Preparation is important. If you are speaking in front of a group, you need to have the material down cold. But you also have to leave room for improvisation.
- Creativity should be fun, seriously.
- Know what’s in your control, and what isn’t. Don’t dwell on those things you can’t control and exploit those things that you can.
* Source and picture from the Fast Company article “Conan O’Brien’s Guide to Creativity” by Chuck Salter