Richard Stomp, innovation and strategy manager in the Netherlands, suggested that to be creative, you should try “streetcombing”—like beachcombing, but on the streets. I described the process in my monthly e-bulletin (if you haven’t subscribed, it’s free by email request to [email protected]) and you an also watch a seven-minute highlight of Stomp’s talk here.
A variation of this is to pretend you're a Martian who has just landed. Look at everything with fresh eyes. Spot the contradictions (notice how people rush to their offices, just so they can sit there for the rest of the day, or how a child can play happily with an empty matchbox but by the time we grow up we have to buy an expensive Playstation that does most of the playing for us). If you dare, look at your own routine with Martian eyes, too...what fresh ideas does that give you?