Creativity is among the top three skills of the future. I try to clarify this concept and give you more resources to explore it further.
We often associate creativity with artistic or innovational abilities, that only certain special people have. Those people are supposed to live a life of free expression and to produce ingenious works of arts or invent something useful for the human kind.
However, according to creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson, this view of creativity is erroneous. Robinson, whose talk on this subject remains the most viewed video on Ted.com, states that:
- creativity is essential for all spheres of work and life, not just the arts,
- we are all born creative, but grow out of it,
- creativity does not require freedom from boundaries and usually takes place within a given framework,
- creativity is a process, rather than an event, and consequently,
- it can be learned by all.
Creativity is closely linked to, but different from imagination and innovation. This definition of the concept identifies two phases of the creative process:
- generating ideas,
- making judgements (evaluating the value of those ideas).
This helps explain why so many different factors may be conducive to creativity, such as intellectual abilities, knowledge, styles of thinking, motivation, certain personality traits and environment.
Even though there is limited scientifically sound conclusions on how to become more creative, a number of techniques may help:
- creating “psychological distance“,
- meeting new people,
- being observant and curious,
- seeking feedback,
- being more spontaneous,
- letting your mind wander purposefully.
There are a lot of resources available on the Internet that will help you boosting your capacity to create original and useful work:
- A to Z guide of creativity techniques
- Epstein Creativity Competencies Inventory for Individuals (ECCI-i) – test
- The Creativity Post blog
- Creativity at work articles
- The Creative Mind newsletter
- Psychology today posts on creativity
- Free online course on creativity
- Visual thinking