Are you one of those people that has excellent suggestions to explain and fix any problem? Always have different, fresh and new ways of doing things? New proposals, new points of view, new ideas, new, new, new… Well, I am not one of those people. I struggle to make inventions, and I would say that my ability to imagine new ways of doing things is very limited. The worst part is that as I get older and I have more experience, this ability seems to get worse.
What I have is motivation to learn, and this is why I am writing this blog because I researched how I can I increase my creativity, and I want to share the results with you.
First of all, what is creativity and why it is so important?
Creativity is the process of generating new ideas as a result of making connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena. These ideas could be associated with concepts, solutions, products, services, and they are influenced by the person’s abilities, character, sensitivity, openness, curiosity, imagination, environment.
Creativity is especially important when looking for new business opportunities, solving problems, uncovering and identifying customer needs. Also, when trying to tailor solutions and finding ways to improve or create more efficient processes or products. Being creative is one of those skills that really can give a good advantage not just in a business context but also when facing personal adversity.
How can we be more creative?
The good news is creativity is a skill that can be learnt and improved. It is essential that on your daily basis, you try to experiment with new things, explore new concepts, question assumptions and use your imagination. Many authors also say that connecting questions, problems and ideas from unrelated fields is imperative to be creative. I have found 7 ways to increase your skills in this area:
- Embrace change:
- Change your geography: Finding and exploring new physical locations (for example, discovering new places to have meetings, for writing, for working)
- Change the participants: Invite new people to join your dialogues. They will bring new ideas and points of view to the same problem (that could help you to face future challenges)
- Change the question: Practice critical thinking
- Be resilient and a perpetual student: The website Creativity at Work mentioned Edinson as a prolific inventor that produced over 1,093 patents and mastered learning from failed experiments. (when he died he left 3,500 notebooks with his ideas and thoughts).
- Make more than one suggestion to the same problem (think outside the box)
- Active listening: to know others needs and create solutions tailored to their needs
- Be aware of every connection: associate processes, needs and feelings. (look at the big picture and map the connections)
- Use the right side of your brain: Try to use your left hand to write or jump. Also, you could try to do something artistic related such as drawing or playing a musical instrument.
- Use the theory of colour: According to this theory, purple and orange are colours associated with creativity (try to use these colours when generating new ideas). Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. Purple is associated with wisdom, independence, creativity and mystery.
- Agan, Sarah. (2013) “Want to Innovate? 4 Ways to Stimulate Creativity.” Govexec.com, 26 General OneFile. Available from: http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A344042433/ITOF?u=anglia_itw&sid=ITOF&xid=8b477d6b. [Accessed 25thJuly 2019]
- Chapman, C. (2010) Color Theory for Designers, Part 1: The Meaning of Color. Available from: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/color-theory-for-designers-part-1-the-meaning-of-color/[Accessed 25thJuly 2019]
- Fabrega, M. (n.d.) 25 Ways to Be More Creative. Available from: https://daringtolivefully.com/ways-to-be-more-creative[Accessed 25th July 2019]
- Groza, M. Locander, D. Howlett, C. (2016) Linking thinking styles to sales performance: The importance of creativity and subjective knowledge. Journal of Business Research,Volume 69, Issue 10. Pages 4185-4193. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.03.006.
- Kunat, B. (2018). Passion and Creativity – Together or Separately?, Creativity. Theories – Research – Applications, 5(1), 55-71. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/ctra-2018-0004
- Naiman, L. (n.d.) What is creativity?. Creativity at work. Available from: https://www.creativityatwork.com/2014/02/17/what-is-creativity/[Accessed 25thJuly 2019]
- Naiman,L. (2011) Seven Habits of Highly Creative People. Creativity at work. Available from: https://www.creativityatwork.com/2012/03/06/seven-habits-of-highly-creative-people/[Accessed 25thJuly 2019]
- E.d. (n.d) Color Wheel Pro- See Color Theory in Action. Available from: http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html[Accessed 25th July 2019]