Developing a new medicine? Need novel ideas for a marketing event? Want to surprise your customers? Changing a juditional procedure? To come up with good answers to these questions you need creativity. What do you need to think creatively? You might think of inspiration, quiet, space. But it’s all in a cocktail of three ingredients: expertise, methods for creative thinking, and motivation. And each of these factors can be steered and developed – so get your creative brain cranking!
Expertise includes everything you know, and are capable of, within the broadest confines of your function. You need knowledge of the subject. To develop medicine you need to know all about the disease and its response to certain substances. For a novel marketing event you need to know all about your target market and the product you’re promoting. Another name for this kind of knowledge is the ‘intellectual space’ for investigating and solving problems. Without expertise, you can’t do much with a creative angle. Your expertise can be developed in all sorts of ways. To do this you need to get started on something challenging. And first make sure you know as much about it as you can. The bigger your intellectual space, the wider the range of creative solutions you can come up with.
Creative thinking methods
Next are the creative thinking methods. They dictate how you study a problem. For one, think of the imagination or resilience you have when approaching a challenge. But also being able to combine existing solutions into new ones. Good to know – creative thinking methods can be taught. So, something we hear a lot at the start of our programmes, “I’m not creative”, doesn’t actually apply. You might have adopted little methods for creative thinking, yet. But creativity is something you can train in all sorts of ways. A first step is learning how to make associations. Write your problem on a blank page and write the different angles of approach, and connections to the question, around it.
We are now arriving at the most important ingredient for our cocktail: motivation. In the end, your motivation dictates what you are actually going to do. People that are intrinsically motivated on their job or assignment, are the most creative. Want to practice your creativity? Pick a problem that really challenges you! And if you find it hard to stimulate creativity in your team, challenge your colleagues with something that they are truly passionate about.
Learning how to think creatively
So, in order to learn about creative thinking you need a cocktail of three factors: expertise, creative thinking methods, and motivation. And each of these can be directed and developed. Want to get creative?
1. Read up on your problem for as much expertise as possible
2. Employ a number of creative thinking methods on the issue
3. Motivate yourself and others to give their all for a creative result
Want to know more about creative thinking? Read our blog about creative thinking here!