There are lots of methods to spark creativity
, but I like one used by the founders of an Australian software company: They set aside a day for their engineers to work on any problem they want, so long as it's not part of their regular job. These are called FedEx Days, because the participants have to "deliver" something overnight, and they've resulted in an array of software fixes that might otherwise never have emerged. Why shouldn't this idea be picked up by someone who's looking to switch careers or even just redecorate the living room? People underestimate how much a wildly varied group can accomplish in a short time. So enlist your own team with these ground rules: They can work on anything they want, but at the end of 24 hours everyone must deliver something—whether it's a list of fields where your skills might translate or a sketch of how the room could look. Don't worry about making it perfect. Worry about making it, period. And have fun. If you're not laughing during your FedEx Day, you're doing it wrong.
Daniel H. Pink is the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
(Riverhead), available in paperback.
This story is part of O's Live Your Best Year Toolkit
From the January 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine