Give your character a new or a different sub-set of directions or goals
Introduce a different character; change the tension or the setting or the season
Change a piece of furniture or picture in the house

Physical activity can stir up ideas – get that adrenaline flowing:
Go for a walk, pacing around your house or yard, treadmill or exercise equipment  
In season activities such as mowing, raking, shoveling, gardening
Cooking, cleaning
Visit a park or store and people watch

Set a timer for a half-hour and simply write about anything that comes into your mind – no rules, no   
     grammar, no goals, no editing
Set a timer and simply allow your mind to wander
Set a timer and surf the Internet

·         Define the problem you want solved clearly, and lay out any criteria to be met. Make it clear that that the objective of the meeting is to generate as many ideas as possible.
·         Encourage people to develop other people's ideas, or to use other ideas to create new ones.
·         Let people have fun brainstorming. Encourage them to come up with as many ideas as possible, from solidly practical ones to wildly impractical ones. Welcome creativity!
·         Ensure that no train of thought is followed for too long. Make sure that you generate a sufficient number of different ideas, as well as exploring individual ideas in detail.

"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." -- Thomas Alva Edison

What is Brainstorming? Brainstorming is a process for developing creative solutions to problems. Alex FaickneyOsborn, an advertising manager, popularized the method in 1953 in his book, Applied Imagination.

Brainstorming works by focusing on a problem, and then deliberately coming up with as many solutions as possible and by pushing the ideas as far as possible. One of the reasons it is so effective is that the brainstormers not only come up with new ideas in a session, but also spark off from associations with other people's ideas by developing and refining them. There are four basic rules in brainstorming (Osborn, 1963) intended to reduce social inhibitions among team members, stimulate idea generation, and increase overall creativity:
o    No criticism: Criticism of ideas are withheld during the brainstorming session as the purpose is on generating varied and unusual ideals and extending or adding to these ideas. This allows the members to feel comfortable with the idea of generating unusual ideas.
o    Welcome unusual ideas: Unusual ideas are welcomed as it is normally easier to "tame down" than to "tame up" as new ways of thinking and looking at the world may provide better solutions.
o    Quantity Wanted: The greater the number of ideas generated, the greater the chance of producing a radical and effective solution.
o    Combine and improve ideas: Not only are a variety of ideals wanted, but also ways to combine ideas in order to make them better.

Brainstorming Steps for a group: (Abbreviated)

o    Gather the participants from as wide a range of disciplines with as broad a range of experience as possible.
o    Write down a brief description of the problem - the leader should take control of the session, initially defining the problem to be solved with any criteria that must be met.
o    Use the description to get everyone's mind clear of what the problem is and post it where it can be seen. This helps in keeping the group focused.
o    Encourage a fun, enthusiastic, uncritical attitude
o    Write down all the solutions that come to mind. Do NOT interpret the idea, however you may rework the wording for clarity's sake. 
o    Do NOT evaluate ideas until the session moves to the evaluation phase. Once the brainstorming session has been completed, the results of the session can be analyzed and the best solutions can be explored.
o    Do NOT censor any solution, no matter how silly it sounds.

Brainstorming Variations

o    One approach is to seed the session with a word or sentence pulled randomly from a dictionary or other book. Use this word as a starting point in the process of generating ideas. You may have seen this on Facebook.
o    Keep all the generated ideas visible. As a flip chart page becomes full, remove it from the pad and tape it to a wall as that it is visible. This "combined recollection" is helpful for creating new ideals.
o    If the brainstormers have difficulty in coming up with solutions, you may have to restate the problem in a different context, such as using metaphors or linking it to own knowledge.

Radical Thinking and Successful Brainstorming

One often used technique for generating new ideals in a brainstorming session is to pick up a dictionary and toss out a random word. However, there is a better way to provide a climate of creativity. There is a game called Cranium that does a good job of using the various parts of the mind. You sketch, sculpt, draw with your eyes, use your knowledge, unscramble words, spell, hum, whistle, impersonate, etc. in order to get your team member(s) to discover the secret word or phrase.

Out of the Box

"Thinking out of the box" is often used over, but you need radical thinking generators to reach a high creative level:
o    Diverse thinking styles. You need lively discussions, not "Leave It to Beaver" dinner talk.
o    Stimulus to spark the mind — activities that will get the creative juices flowing, such as the Cranium game or other random objects.
o    Fear prevention — fun games, friendly environment, and firm gestures that creates the feeling that everything is OK!

This is truly "thinking out of the box" as it provides an environment that uses everyone's thinking styles, rather than telling them to change their thinking style. When you tell people "to come out of the box," you are basically saying that you want them to be the same box as you. Now why would we go to all that trouble of getting a diverse workforce and then cloning everyone into the same style? When you provide a creative environment, instead of trying to change a person, you get the real person! When you get real persons into open, trusting environments with creative activities, you get radical thinking. And when you get radical thinking, you get the next great ideal for your organization!

How to Stop Great Ideas

·   "Inventions reached their limit long ago, and I see no hope for further development," - Julius Frontinus in the first century A.D.
·   "A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make." - Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.
·   "Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy." - Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859
·   "The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible." - A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
·   "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" - H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
·   "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." - Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
·   "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
·   "640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 1981
·   "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." - Western Union internal memo, 1876.
·   "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" - David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
·   "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." - The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
·   "But what ... is it good for?" - Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
·   "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949
·   "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.
·   "Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools." - 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work.
·   "I assure you, Marlon Brando will not appear in this film, " said a Paramount Studio exec about the casting of The Godfather.
·   "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." - Western Union internal memo, 1876.
·   After Fred Astair's first screen test in 1933, the MGM testing director wrote a memo saying, "Can't act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little. " Astaire got the memo and kept it over his fireplace.
·   An expert said of football coach Vince Lombardi, "He possesses minimal football knowledge. Lacks motivation."
·   "So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'" - Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.
·   "I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper," explained Gary Cooper on his refusal to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."
·   "If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this." - Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M's Post-It notes