If the idea of being creative at work makes you think of artistic talent, don’t worry!
Why is creativity important in everyday life?
To me it’s because it makes life infinitely interesting and fulfilling. Creativity is a way of living life that embraces originality and makes unique connections between seemingly disparate ideas.
Creativity is one of your strengths, innovative and creative minds are highly sought after. So don’t hide your ability! Look for ways to share your creativity process with others. Engage colleagues and teammates in creative pursuits, and promote creativity in your team and organization. And remember that you can always be more creative
Human beings are essentially born creative–from infancy on we find innovative ways to negotiate life. The most creative people find ways around obstacles because they see them not just as roadblocks but also as opportunities.
Creativity is all about finding fresh and innovative solutions to problems, and identifying opportunities to improve the way that we do things.
anyone can be creative, just as long as they have the right mindset and use the right tools.
This class will helps you to think about how creative you are right now. Take it, and then use the tools and discussions that follow to bring intense creativity to your everyday work.
Boosting Your Creativity Ability is very simple
effective creative process usually consists of five steps. These are:
Preparation – becoming immersed in problems and issues that are interesting and that arouse curiosity.
Incubation – allowing ideas to turn around in your mind without thinking about them consciously.
Insight – experiencing the moment when the problem makes sense, and you understand the fundamental issue.
Evaluation – taking time to make sure that the insight provides sufficient value to outweigh the various costs involved in implementation.
Elaboration – creating a plan to implement the solution, and following through.
We’ve mapped these five steps onto the process below. This provides a clear and practical way for you to think about creativity, and to use it in your everyday life at work.
1. Finding Problems (Preparation)
Creative people don’t sit and allow problems to surface. Instead, they scan their environment for potential issues, and they see this as time well spent. Also, they’re excited by the opportunity to change things. They aren’t intimidated by change; they embrace it.
To develop your creative skills, you need to adopt a positive attitude towards change, and take an active role in identifying opportunities and looking for potential issues. To do this, challenge your business processes using Failure Modes and Effects Analysis , and look for bottlenecks in these processes. Carry out SWOT and PEST analyses on a regular basis. Keep up-to-date withcustomer experiences and expectations, and try to spot problems from other people’s perspectives.
Also, engage in benchmarking to find out how well others are addressing similar issues, and look at the issue from a wide range of perspectives. Then, analyze your findings to ensure that a real problem does exist. This fact-finding activity can save you a great deal of time later on, and will help ensure that you only act on the most relevant problems and issues.
Look first for problems and potential issues that interest you. These are the things you’ll be most motivated to pursue when you’re learning to solve problems creatively. Then, as you become more confident, challenge yourself to investigate issues that are more complex.
2. Gathering and Reflecting on Information (Incubation)
When you have a potential issue or problem, gather as much information about it as you can. As part of this, investigate solutions that have been tried previously (both in your own organization, and in other areas), and identify ideas that might have surfaced, but were never acted on.
At this stage it’s also a good idea to step away from the problem for a while, and allow new thoughts and ideas to enter your mind. When we concentrate on one issue for too long there is a tendency to latch onto one or two ideas, and this can block other good ideas. (One of the benefits of being proactive in your problem-finding is that you have time to incubate ideas, rather than being pressurized to find an immediate solution to a problem.)
3. Problem Exploration (Insight)
Once you’ve identified and verified your problem, you can figure out what’s really going on. Often, the initial problem that you identified will turn out to be a symptom of a deeper problem. Therefore, identifying the root cause of the problem is extremely important.
When you do this, you’ll find that techniques like CATWOE , Drill Down , the 5 Whys , Cause and Effect Analysis , and Root Cause Analysis are all very effective. While creativity may invoke ideas of spontaneous insight and far-out inspiration, the truth is that being creative in the workplace is rooted in a practical understanding of the situation at hand.
Don’t, however, be so practical that you become negative. What often separates creative people from others is the ability to see past potential barriers, and believe in their insights. For instance, you could easily dismiss a great insight by saying, “Oh that could never be the problem!” But, you won’t ever know if something is contributing to a problem unless you allow yourself to explore the possibility. That’s what creative problem exploration is all about – being open to all ideas and possibilities.
4. Generating and Evaluating Ideas (Evaluatio)
When you have clear insight into the cause of the issue, you can move onto generating ideas for a solution. Here you want to look for as many ways to inspire ideas as possible. Brainstorming, Reverse Brainstorming and Starbursting are popular for this, however these can be undermined by problems with group dynamics. Techniques like Brainwriting , Round-Robin Brainstorming and theCharette Procedure can help you circumvent common problems.
Obviously not all of the ideas you have will be practical or possible. So, as part of this step in the creativity process, you need to decide which criteria you’ll use to evaluate your ideas. (Without a solid evaluation process, you’ll be prone to choosing a solution that is perhaps too cautious.)
There are a wide range of tools you can use for the evaluation, including:
- Risk Analysis : This helps you explore where things could go wrong.
- Impact Analysis : This gives you a framework for exploring the full consequences of your decision.
- Force Field Analysis : This helps you explore the pressures for and against change.
- Decision Tree Analysis : This shows you how to evaluate different options from a financial perspective.
- Paired Comparison Analysis : This helps you work out the relative importance of various factors.
- Decision Matrix Analysis : This allows you to weigh many different financial and non-financial factors.
5. Implementation (Elaboration)
A common misconception is that creative people spend all their time thinking of new and interesting ideas. In fact, truly creative people recognize a good idea and run with it. A famous Thomas Edison quote supports this: “Creativity is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”
For this final step, you need to be committed to taking your ideas and making them happen, and you need to be confident that you can, indeed, propose innovative ideas and inspire change.
To implement your ideas successfully, develop a solid plan, using action plans for simple projects, and more formal project management techniques for larger, more complex projects. You’ll also need to be able to sell your idea to others in your organization. If your idea is likely to affect other people, you’ll want to develop strong change management skills so that the people around you accept and use the products of your creativity.
Once you bring one idea through to successful implementation, you’ll be motivated and inspired to repeat the process again and again!
TRY THIS EXERCISE ALSO TO BE MORE CREATIVE
1. Ask more questions.
2. Start a daily project.
3. Make a terrarium.
4. Get outside into nature –
5. Join a creativity group
6. Hop onto YouTube and learn how to do something new
7. Dive into your recipe books and find a new recipe.
8. Find an art gallery or museum near you and visit.
9. Paint a five minute imaginary landscape.
10.give yourself a treat
11. Make a card for someone and send it with love.
12. Listen to a TED talk for inspiration or a new perspective.
13. Try drawing something with your non dominant hand.
14. Create a Pinterest board for a very specific thing that interests you.
15. Rearrange your furniture.
16. Subscribe to a daily email for quick drops of inspiration, food for thought or upliftment in your inbox.
17. Try something you’ve never done before.
18. Listen to podcasts from other creatives –
19. Make tiny origami stars.
20. Take an inexpensive and fun course to refresh your skills and energy!
In the workplace, some people are naturally more creative than others. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t all learn to be more creative, and use creativity enhancing tools and techniques in our daily lives.
At its core, creativity is the ability to see familiar things in a new light, and the first step to being more creative is training yourself to look for opportunities to improve the systems and processes around you.
Then gather information, find the main cause of issues and problems, and generate and evaluate your ideas. And don’t forget that the mundane work of implementing your ideas is key to being genuinely creative!y
So, to learn the science behind the creativity, you need to have full faith in your mind, feed it with knowledge, and give it due time to come up with new ideas. That’s how the creativity works, and that’s how you can excel at it.
How about you? What is your creative habit? I would love to hear from you.