Thursday, February 26, 2009

How Individual learn to be Creative? Discover ways to improve creativity personally and organisationally.

To be creative an individual should:
1. think beyond the invisible frameworks that surround problems/situations
2. recognise when assumptions are being made and challenge them
3. spot blinkered thinking and widen the field of vision (to draw on the experiences of other individuals/businesses)
4. develop/adapt ideas from more than one source
5. practice serendipity (finding valuable and agreeable things when not particularly seeking them) – having a wide attention span and range of interests is important
6. ‘transfer technology’ from one field to another
7. be open/prepared to use chance or unpredictable things/ events to advantage
8. explore thought processes and the key elements of the mind at work in analysing, valuing and synthesising
9. use his/her ‘depth’ mind (the unconscious mind) for example by sleeping on a problem to generate creative solutions to problems
10. note down thoughts/ideas that apparently drop into the mind unsolicited so that they are not forgotten
11. use analogy (to improve imaginative thinking) to find ‘models’ or solutions in ‘nature’, in existing products/services and/or in other organisations – not always reinventing the wheel
12. try, as appropriate, to sometimes make the strange familiar and the familiar strange to spark new ideas
13. make connections with points that are:
 apparently irrelevant
 disguised/buried or not easily accessible
 outside own sphere of expertise
 lacking authority
14. suspend judgement to encourage the creative process and avoid premature criticism – analysis and criticism repress creativity)
15. know when to leave a problem (remaining aware but detached) for solutions to emerge – patience is important here as is the suspension of judgement
16. tolerate ambiguity and occasionally live with doubt and uncertainty
17. stimulate own curiosity (in everything including travel) and the skills of observation, listening, reading and recording.

We should remember that creativity should challenge the status quo to test continuously for improvements, because:
 a thing is not right because we do it
 a method is not good because we use it
 equipment is not the best because we own it

Creativity can be improved by remembering that the creative process has four main stages and each needs to be properly ‘worked’:
1. Preparation (information gathering, analysis and solution exploration)
2. Incubation (letting the mind work to continue the process)
3. Illumination (inspiration – which can come when the individual is not necessarily thinking about the problem but is in a relaxed frame of mind)
4. Verification (testing ideas, solutions, hunches, insights for applicability).


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