Creative Thinking – “Which tool are you going to use?”

With a bottle of wine up for grabs, students were set a challenge which tested their ability to ‘think outside the box’ during a workshop held as part of the Venture Programme. Venture events equip students and graduates with the skills and knowledge to start-up a business, or innovate within an organisation.

Amidst a ream of paper, body contortions, laughter and frustration, Paul McKie, (workshop facilitator), had made the point that our experience and expertise hold us back when it comes to problem solving or when trying to come up with new ideas.

Employers want graduates who can do both. It’s also really important to be able to do this when starting-up a business. So, the ability to be creative and to be a lateral thinker are very desirable traits. This is all very well, and good, but, how do you ‘think outside the box’?

In his fast-paced workshop, Paul offered practical tools which you can use in any area of life; for a problem at work, coming up with an idea for an assignment, or how to progress a business idea.

Traditional approaches were scrapped for ‘radical’ thinking – the crazier the better – and everyone left knowing how they can look at things from a different perspective.

As someone who has employed these tools himself – in numerous businesses across different industries – Paul also offered the following words of wisdom for budding entrepreneurs;

  1. Always have post-it notes by your bed.
  2. Set your phone to connect to Voicemail so you never miss a good idea.
  3. The biggest loss in business is not money, but confidence. Talk to people, you never know who you will meet or who could help you.
  4. If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never get started.

Paul will be back at the Careers & Employability Centre next year, delivering this session as part of Venture, on 5th February (12.30 – 2pm) and 20th April (2-3.30pm). To book a place on his workshop, email venture@chester.ac.uk.

W: www.chester.ac.uk/careers/entrepreneurship

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