Research suggests that a focus on developing creativity is important for several reasons:
Evolving social, economic, and scientific problems facing the world today and in the future will require more flexible thinking and novel solutions.
Creative individuals may enjoy higher academic achievement.
Employers seek job candidates with strong creativity skills.
Individual employee creativity is linked to organizational innovation, and work teams using more creative practices tend to enjoy higher performance.
Allen Gannett, CEO of TrackMaven and author of “The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time,” dug into the science and history of creative achievement and found that it’s not about genius. Hard work, good timing, and strong feedback matter a lot more, and those are skills which can be learned, practiced, and repeated.
Use a wide range of idea creation techniques (such as brainstorming)
Create new and worthwhile ideas (both incremental and radical concepts)
Elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts
Work Creatively with Others
Develop, implement and communicate new ideas to others effectively
Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work
Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the real world limits to adopting new ideas
View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes
Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur
Creative thinking is expansive, open-ended invention and discovery of possibilities. When people speak of “right brain” activity, they most often mean creative thinking. Here are some of the more common creative thinking abilities:
Brainstorming ideas involves asking a question and rapidly listing all answers, even those that are far-fetched, impractical, or impossible.
Creating something requires forming it by combining materials, perhaps according to a plan or perhaps based on the impulse of the moment.
Designing something means finding the conjunction between form and function and shaping materials for a specific purpose.
Entertaining others involves telling stories, making jokes, singing songs, playing games, acting out parts, and making conversation.
Imagining ideas involves reaching into the unknown and impossible, perhaps idly or with great focus, as Einstein did with his thought experiments.
Improvising a solution involves using something in a novel way to solve a problem. Innovating is creating something that hasn’t existed before, whether an object, a procedure, or an idea.
Overturning something means flipping it to get a new perspective, perhaps by redefining givens, reversing cause and effect, or looking at something in a brand new way.
Problem solving requires using many of the creative abilities listed here to figure out possible solutions and putting one or more of them into action.
Questioning actively reaches into what is unknown to make it known, seeking information or a new way to do something.
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