We are all creative. creative people are not born with some miraculous gene, but the only thing which separates us is that we are all on different planes of creativity and that’s not a bad thing as variety is the spice of life.
The nature and nurture view is also used for creativity-are creative people born or made? Are those creative suits in advertising really an enigma or is it that they have learned to process information differently? I distance myself from the idea that creativity is purely all about genetics. Just think of a situation when this happened-perhaps a discussion or project where you came up with an idea or when we were in school and made something that was the envy of many. So, if we follow the logic a little then we realize we have a spark of creativity within us.
Programmed thinking hampers creativity.
As leaders and champions, personal creativity through lateral thinking or zigging when others zag) is an indispensable skill to have as it allows us to solve problems by thinking outside our four walls. The good news is that we can accelerate our personal creativity if we follow some simple steps. Here are some ways.
- Suspending judgment. NOTHING kills creativity like limited thinking. Make your ideas outrageous and outlandish.
- Anchoring: Replicating the circumstances and surroundings when we felt creative is a good catalyst.
- Take the Kipling approach: Rudyard Kipling had the right idea when he said he kept 6 serving men: what,why,when,how where and who? Ask questions and then ask more.
- E=MC2 : Albert Einstein used the idea of “provocation”-make stupid statements such as people should not eat. This helps us to come up with fresh ideas although not necessary always solutions.
- Be random: Creative block? Thumb through a thesaurus or dictionary and look at a word randomly. For example, you are trying to come up with a marketing campaign for “pets”, so, say the word is “car” take the word and see how you can associate it with pets.
- Start writing: The universe seems to throw random ideas at us, but these flashes of inspiration are far too often forgotten. Keep a notebook, journal or use a smart-phone to jot down ideas. I use my phone to create notes which will help me later when I need them.
- Look through a different lens: we are more creative when we stand in a different frame. Seeing a problem as an opportunity is one way by which we can look through a different lens.
- Listen to music:Certain types of music boost creative thinking. Many people find classical music or meditation music really helps.
- Less TV: Try it. TV is really a distraction that interrupts creativity.
- Read: Opening ourselves to a wider variety of subjects will add to our knowledge and help us to have more ideas.
- Be a part of the problem not solution: When we reverse our thinking and ask how we can cause a problem we come up with creative solutions. If a business owner wants to improve customer experience he may ask “what do I do to lose more customers?” or “what steps can I take to increase my overheads?”
- Draw: doodle away. Start with a line or circle and just keep on adding. You may even come up with a new character.
- Build: Another variation on brainstorming is to build. If we are looking to develop a new product then we can group-storm and start making.
Go ahead and ZAG …Keep on winning…