Generating ideas is easier when you have a problem to solve. It's also easier when you know how to trigger creative thought. For some, it starts with having a routine, listening to music, or reading books. For others, it may involve putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Getting the first thought out, however irrelevant, is often enough to get ideas flowing.
Ideas can also be a source of power and can help people generate momentum around a cause or new initiative. Actively working to bring an idea to life can build team cohesiveness and a sense of community.
Why do ideas matter? Because it gives people options. Without options, you wouldn't have choices, hope, or a sense of what's coming next. Ideas often stem from the combination of things that we already have known or experienced. These linkages and associations form the fabric of our thought and can also be gone in an instant, like a wave that crashes on the shore and then disappears as it fades back into the surf.
Becoming more creative, innovative, or even more effective as a leader starts with developing the ability to generate more ideas. The key is to look within and let them come to you, not to go in search of them.