Designed by Emily Haasch for the Noun Project

Designed by Emily Haasch for the Noun Project

IDEO CEO Tim Brown argues that drawing is the the one thing you need to generate great ideas. Tim explains:

When you use drawing to express an idea instead of words or numbers, you engage a different part of the brain. To draw an idea accurately, certain decisions must be made that even the most precise language can overlook. The result of making that series of small decisions? You’re able to get to novel solutions more quickly.

Visual thinking isn’t limited to illustrations, either. It can take many forms…[to] help explore and describe ideas in valuable ways that require little more than a few straight lines and some imagination.

So, next time you reach an impasse, pull out a sketchpad or saddle up to a white board and quiet that inner voice that says you can’t draw. You may end up seeing your way through.

Drawing forces you to think in a more concrete way than speaking or writing can. Even if you don’t think of yourself as the artistic type, you can still benefit from drawing ideas as best you can. As one comment on Tim’s article put it: “it doesn’t have to be good, it has to mean something to you.”

The next time you’re feeling creatively stuck, try creating a mind map or some other visual representation. See how Tim and his team utilized drawing to solve a business problem for a client, here.

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