Photo by Alice Achterhof on Unsplash.
Creativity is, and will continue to be, a vital skill of the knowledge worker economy, and as such a key element of future education.
We must be creative in our approaches to problems, issues and opportunities.
So how do we become more creative?
Creativity: A Key Skill For Success
The problems of the present world are indeed complex and difficult. We know there are no easy fixes to these massive problems. We will need to foster new and creative ideas.
Furthermore, business has become more complex and competitive. Business networks that span the globe, with multiple differing markets, regulations and customers, will require creativity to operate effectively. Business owners, operators and employees will need to adapt to the new economies and workplaces of the global knowledge economy.
Moreover, with the complexities of global communication and the huge changes in how we communicate through social media and digital mediums, creativity will be an essential skill. We need to foster and develop creativity so that we can adapt to these new scenarios and overcome the many issues that will arise in global communication.
And so, we must put creativity as a central skill in the workplace and in education.
We must become aware and begin to develop our creative sides.
So what is creativity?
Creativity is a skill!
One of the problems we currently face, is the idea that creativity is a talent; it is something that creative people have and they excel at it. Those that can draw, paint, create music, think differently; they are the creative people and the rest of us are not creative.
Creativity is not just talent.
Creativity requires inspiration, investigation, dedication, hard work, perseverance, resilience, risk taking and discipline. And we can all learn to be creative by employing these elements.
Creativity is more than being creative, it is seeking creative responses, and being disciplined to question and investigate our assumptions. It requires resilience to push through the difficult moments when inspiration allude us, and to work tirelessly to find, or create, a solution. It is about taking risks and braving the unknown, or even the embarrassment of failure, and to keep going in search of solutions.
Creativity is more than talent, it is a habit.
Creativity, Culture and Education
A collective called, Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE), inspired by its CEO, Paul Collard, propose a similar viewpoint, in what they describe as ‘Creative Habits of Mind’, these skills and behaviors were defined as:
Inquisitive Wondering and questioning
Exploring and investigating
Persistence Tolerating uncertainty
Sticking with difficulty
Daring to be different
Imaginative Playing with possibilities
Disciplined Crafting and improving
Collaborative Cooperating appropriately
Giving and receiving feedback
Sharing the ‘product’
An Important Skill
So, at first, it is important that we start to see creativity as a skill and not as a talent.
Through this mindset, we see that creativity is a skill, and that that skill has several components that we can all work to use.
We can all become more inquiring, we can look for problems and opportunities, and we can research to look for creative ideas that others are applying to similar, or even unrelated, issues.
We may not all be talented at creativity, but by pushing ourselves and challenging ourselves, by being persistent and disciplined, we can become better at being creative. Too many of us give up and say we are not creative, but creativity is like a muscle, if we persist and we work through our challenges we generally get better at that thing.
Still not Feeling Creative?
Now maybe you still feel you are not creative, and building your creativity is just too hard, well you can still be creative in collaboration. You can reach out to those around you who are creative and employ their creative skills in your project.
And so we can see, creativity is a vital skill and one we must adopt if we want to succeed in the future.
Creativity is a skill, it is a skill we all have access to, and it is a skill that workplaces must encourage and schools must teach.
Now we can see creativity is a skill, how do we employ this skill to life.
A Creative Framework
A framework is a great tool. It gives us a map that we can apply to every situation and bring creativity to the issues, opportunities and problems we face.
There are many frameworks available and many ways we might approach creative thinking. However, in making creativity a habit, the easiest and most convenient of these frameworks that I’ve found so far is the Osborne-Parnes model.
The Osborne-Parnes Model
Mess-finding. Identify a goal or objective.
Fact-finding. Gathering data.
Problem-finding. Clarifying the problem
Idea-finding. Generating ideas
Solution-finding. Strengthening & evaluating ideas
Acceptance-finding. Plan of action for Implementing ideas
So if we want to develop our creativity, and build it into a habit, we can follow this formula to make it a habit to look at life creatively and to seek creative solutions to life’s issues, opportunities and problems.
To step it out:
Mess-finding encourages us to be creative, as it inspires us to look creatively at our life. It asks us to actively look at life, our personal lives, our workplaces, our political spheres, and to look for issues, problems and/or opportunities.
By doing this, we are actively looking for things that we can do differently, things that we can do better, we can improve, and therefore we start to think creatively.
But also in our work, it asks us to actively look at the task we are given and to question exactly what the issues are, what is the mess, the real problem we need to solve?
And so, we are beginning to look at the world more critically and thereby we are starting to think more creatively about how things are, and how we might me able to approach their solutions.
The next step is fact finding. We may have creative ideas already, but to be thorough, and to be effective in our creativity, we need to force ourselves to look for evidence.
What are the details of the issue?
What are other solutions that are offered up?
What has worked, what hasn’t worked?
In this way, we can critically look at the issue and start to shape our creative response directly to the needs of the task. It also will help us to find creative solutions we may have never contemplated on our own.
The next step we can bring to every creative situation, is to actively and critically look for problems.
What are problems we can fix?
What are problems with the current solutions?
What might not work with our proposed solutions?
In this way, we are being both critical and creative. We are looking for the problems, issues and opportunities and we are defining these by looking for the facts and the details. And we are looking for problems and looking for new creative solutions and opportunities.
Having followed these steps, it’s time to start forming whole ideas that can solve our problems or take advantage of our opportunities.
In looking for ideas, we should be looking for multiple options and we must take into account the facts we found and the problems, so we can find optimal creative solutions.
Once we have creatively and critically generated ideas we then need to choose our solution. What ideas will work and how will we put them together.
We may need to work collaboratively to find solutions that will work for everyone, which will again take creativity.
And once we have our solutions, we need to accept our solution and implement it. However, in acceptance, we do not stop being creative. We have formed a new habit. And so the next step is to look for messes and look for facts and problems and so on …
Make creativity a Habit
You can use this framework with any creative task as a way to logically get more creative about finding solutions and to become more critical in your thinking.
Creative is a key skill for success in the knowledge economy.
It is therefore a skill we need to develop and one that must be taught.
Here we have laid out a simple beginning foundation for us to become more creative.
- See creativity as a skill.
- Make creativity a habit.
- Employ a reliable framework
By doing this, we can encourage all workers and all students to start developing their creativity.
Mission to Success
The mission for success is to take our life to the level of awesome. We are actively learning the lessons that will bring us more success, that will improve the future for our children and will help make the world a better place.
If that’s something you want for your life, feel free to come join the mission for success by clicking here: Mission for Success!
All the best, and remember to keep striving for success.