A view from the trenches on what is Creative Thinking?
An ability we all have to create and test ideas
We are all born with the ability to create, dream, play and imagine.
Just think of when you were a child and in your bath were pirates and monsters or even a shark.
We do not lose this ability but through neglect it can become dulled.
Much like my maths ability for example, sums that I could easily do in my head many years ago require more time or a calculator simply through a lack of use.
A skill we all can develop with the right tools, practice and encouragement
Creative Thinking is also a skill that every individual, group or team can enhance and develop with the right tools, practice and encouragement.
Using my Speed Thinking tool for example means that even the most rational thinkers can generate amazing ideas – in minutes.
In a lot of ways it’s the most important future skill.
In the future, most of us will need to create new careers or new businesses or develop more innovative ways to work or play or educate ourselves and eventually retire when we want to.
All this will require creative thinking.
A resource without limit
Unlike other resources (e.g. time, dollars and people) there is no limit to our imagination and creative thinking.
It’s an endless resource.
What’s more it’s free.
Creative Thinking can be used by individuals, groups and teams.
We used to believe that creative thinking was the domain of the individual genius.
But even Einstein for example regularly collaborated with his peers and bounced ideas around.
The great news is that creative thinking can be used every day by any individual, group or team, for any situation, at any time.
It’s more more than ideation
Some people have the mistaken belief that creative thinking should only be used at the ideation stage.
This is too limiting.
It can be used to generate ideas but also to enhance, evaluate, pitch and test new ideas.
In other words, creative thinking can be used at every stage of the innovation process for example.
Creative Thinking is an active process
You can wait for ideas to emerge or you can go and find them.
Sometimes waiting around for inspiration works but I find this too passive.
For me I like to go and talk to customers or visit a store or read some consumer complaints or study what the competition is doing.
Creative Thinking then becomes a more proactive process.
Most of creative thinking requires a new mindset.
One that values and respects creative thinking in ourselves and in others.
One that realises that it is an ability that is available to everyone rather than a special few.
And finally a mindset that is open to the idea that creative thinking like any other skill can improve with practice.
Think of it as a muscle that strengthens with usage.