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What's Your Angle?

Get fresh ideas when you change your perspective.

This story appears in the September 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

By consciously shifting your perspective, you counter normal tendencies to stick with what you know either because you believe you're the expert or out of comfort with the familiar. This technique has two benefits: It can generate a solution to an immediate need and cultivate a new habit of mind. The goal is to find several alternatives in any situation.

To begin, start idea meetings with a quick exercise to help people practice looking at things in different ways. Take a picture from the newspaper, and ask people to come up with different explanations of what's happening in the picture. Though it's usually a fun exercise, the message is serious: You're signaling to your team you want them to behave differently and to practice generating more possibilities.

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