As a marketing student many years ago I was taught the 4 P’s (i.e. product, price, place and promotion).

I believe that we can use a similar framework to discuss creativity.

The 4 P’s are:

Perspective, Passion, Perseverance, Practice.

1. Perspective

One of the hallmarks of creative people is that they like to play around with perspective.

By this I mean that they like to look at a problem in many different ways.

My wife who is an award winning journalist for example will often say when thinking about a story idea — what is a new angle on this?

In my workshops i often hear myself saying to the group — what is a different perspective on this?

How might a customer view this situation or a partner or a retailer for example.

What i am trying to do is to encourage participants to shift their perspective and also not to get obsessed with one view.

If this happens people often want to defend their point of view rather than appreciating the views and diversity of other perspectives.

2. Passion

Creative people just love to create new things.

They want to discover the new for the simple joy that it brings.

When i worked at American Express for example, i was always annoying my colleagues because i always wanted to start from a blank piece of paper rather than build on an existing process or solution.

This inclination of mine took more time and was not very efficient but I just loved creating something fresh, original and hopefully a much better idea.

3. Perseverance

This is an unusual observation but i believe it to be true of creatively confident people.

There ideas are no better or worse than anyone else’s but they just keep at it.

They will keep thinking and testing until they get it right.

For example, i have been working on a new app for the past month. It has driven me crazy because i have not been able to get the concept quite right but i kept at it.

Finally a breakthrough emerged and i am very excited by my new idea.

This is not to say that i am smarter than anyone else — it is just a story of wanting to crack this challenge and not to give up until i was happy with the outcome.

4. Practice

The last 4 is the simplest idea but perhaps the hardest to do.

As my Sifu tells me — if you want to become better at Kung Fu then do more Kung Fu.

It is the same with creativity.

You just have to practice it everyday.

In my case i cannot imagine a situation where i was not doing something creative everyday.

I want to become better at creating.

I know that this is a universal ability and it is unlimited.

If i become more creative today i can become more creative tomorrow.

There is no end to my or your imagination.

A last thought

The 4 P’s are a simple yet practical framework to improve your creative performance.

I urge you to embrace it.

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