– Radical Solutions to Everyday Problems
“making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus
For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining.
A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future.
In order to stay ahead of the competition you’ve got to be innovative and creative which means you have to be able to “apply new methods and ideas”.
How do you do that? First, start by thinking differently.
“You cannot teach a man anything;
you can only help him to find it within himself”
The creative process is an ongoing exercise. Everything you do that is not habit is creative. If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for or need but you’re still doing “things” the same old way – consider doing some creative thinking!
In order to “think” creatively you need to be curious. A creative person constantly wants to learn new things. They are always asking, why. They love knowledge just for the sake of knowledge.
Creative people challenge the standard status quo. They know that by breaking assumptions you can create new ideas and thoughts.
Creative people look for a better mouse trap. They believe there’s always a better or easier way to do something. They believe that almost every problem has a solution and that problems usually lead to some kind of improvement therefore they always see the good in the bad.
Creativity is …
An Ability – A simple definition is that creativity is the ability to imagine or invent something new. This doesn’t mean that you create something out of “thin air”. It means that you create new ideas by changing existing ideas. Some creative ideas are brilliant while others are just practical, the things that make you say, “I could have thought of that”. Believe it or not, we all have creative ability. What happens is the “rut” – we get in it and can’t seem to get out of it. That’s when you hear, “we’ve always done it this way” or “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
An Attitude – Creativity is also an attitude: the ability to accept change and new ideas, a willingness to explore future possibilities. Unfortunately, we are socially programmed to accept only the normal ways or methods.
A Process – Creative people work hard and continually look for ways to improve ideas and solutions, by making small tweaks to their work. The creative person just knows that there’s always room for improvement, in everything.
So, let’s get creative!
Several methods have been identified for producing creative results. Here are the five classic ones:
Evolution. This is the method of incremental improvement. New ideas stem from other ideas, new solutions from previous ones, the new ones are slightly improved over the old ones. Making something a little better here, a little better there gradually makes it something a lot better–even entirely different from the original.
Synthesis. With this method, two or more existing ideas are combined into a third, new idea.
Revolution. Sometimes the best new idea is a completely different one.
Reapplication. Look at something old in a new way. Remove expectations and assumptions and discover how something can be reapplied. The key is to see beyond the previous or stated applications for some idea, solution, or thing and to see what other application is possible.
Changing Direction. Many creative breakthroughs occur when attention is shifted from one angle of a problem to another. This is sometimes called creative insight.
Here’s An Idea List of Ways to Improve Something
- Simplify–remove complexity
- Apply to new use
- Reduce Cost
- Make easier to use, understand
- Reduce fear to own, use
- Make safer
- Give more performance, capacity
- Make faster, less waiting
- Provide more durability, reliability
- Give better appearance
- Create more acceptance by others
- Add features, functions
- Integrate functions
- Make more flexible, versatile
- Make more elegant
- Provide better psychological appeal (understandable, acceptable)
- Provide better emotional appeal (happy, warm, satisfying, enjoyable, fun, likable, “neat”)
- Aim toward ideal rather than immediate goals
- Make more accurate
If you’re thinking “creatively” today, how can you “apply new methods or ideas” to the service that you offer?
“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”