Category Archives: Improvisation

How an escalator can inspire ideas

You know what it’s like, you’ve been working on an idea or challenge for ages and you’ve reached the point where your mind is bogged down and you’re not moving forward anymore. This is the point when getting ‘fresh eyes’, a different perspective will help your thoughts move again.

For inspiration on looking at situations from a different perspective, have a look at this TED Talk from Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere:

This video shows that when you look at your surroundings with fully open, fresh eyes (and mind), the everyday location or situation (such as an escalator) can be transformed in a way which lifts the spirits.

After watching Charlie Todd’s TED Talk I wiped away the tears of laughter from my now (re)freshed eyes and realised how important this kind of approach to the world is for idea generation and development. Todd stands back from the things we see in everyday life (an escalator), and looks at them from a different perspective (a captive audience who would welcome entertainment). If you can stand back from your idea and look at it from a different perspective, you might be amazed with the results.

Techniques which can help you gain a different perspective could be: considering your challenge from a child’s point of view; representing your idea in LEGO; just going for a long walk and forgetting about it for a while. Anything which prompts you to look at your idea from a different angle will work.

How do you get ‘fresh eyes’? I would love to know your techniques for gaining new perspectives on challenges.