Today creative thinking is a necessary skill. Not only artists, writers or musicians need it, it is the thing that can be useful for each of us. It’s impossible to come up with a breakthrough idea, to create something unique or find an original solution to the issue without creativity.
And of course it is very appreciated in modern world. That’s why, if you want to be effective and successful, you should learn to stimulate your creative spirit. Let’s start with some theory.
Creative thinking skills definition
The first question is — what is the meaning of creative thinking? It is the ability to create and something new, no matter if it as a physical device, a piece of art or just an original concept. To invent things and ideas you need to find a new way, that nobody has found before you. That’s why meaning of creative thinking is usually connected with extravagance, going beyond. You think outside the box and you develop your own borders.
A lot of people associate such mindset with artistic tasks such as composing music, creating website or writing a book. We can say that all these endeavors are creative, but you don’t need to be an artist to work on these skills. Many jobs require them, including science and business spheres. You can write posts for your company’s Instagram or just consider conflicts between colleagues — but in a new way, finding a non-standard solution. You need creative thinking to expand consciousness, to develop, scale and improve your own business or just to start it, and to keep away from competitors.
To understand what is creative thinking, definition isn’t enough. Some people are artistic and creative by nature, they do nothing to improve these skills. But others can strengthen these skills with practice. Practice makes perfect. And we’re going to show you how.
Top skills you need to be creative
- Problem solving.
Dynamic rhythm of modern life and business just doesn’t leave us another option, thinking creatively at work is a must. Every day, we tackle with unexpected issues and often it isn’t possible to solve them with common patterns;
- Creative writing.
If you want to build your career in sales or marketing, you should be able to write in a compelling way. Even when your position requires standard emails or reports, you can make them outstanding, to grab your audience’s attention and to increase your brand’s recognition;
Don’t be closed to new ways of self-development, strike with stereotypes and deal with all changes the XXI century has brought;
Usually creative people are not considered to be extremely of even a bit organized. But actually, creative thinking is impossible without it. How other people will understand your ideas, how will they follow through it? If you create something for audience, you need to be able to structure your goals and actions. And don’t forget about meeting deadlines;
The audience (including your boss) will only understand and appreciate your solutions if you can communicate effectively. Therefore, you need to find common grounds with your audience, to find the right words and questions, to understand their answers;
Collect information, focus on facts and statistics, look for the cause and effect, play analytic games. Then your ideas will have a logical structure and will not be just attractive, they will make sense.
There are a lot of examples of creative thinking in business. Just remember Steve Jobs. No one knew he wanted an Iphone before it was presented. But is the name of company (“Apple”) really creative? It is the simplest option they could have. However, it worked out. This is a good reminder that you do not need to climb into the wilds. Sometimes the best decision is on the surface, the main thing is to develop it well. Everyday companies create new ideas, new products, new campaigns, and we think — why it wasn’t me who came up with this? Really, why?
So creative and innovative thinking skills are something that helps to stay current, to keep up with the race and to create new ideas that change the world (or your own life at least).
How to develop creative thinking
After understanding the importance of creative thinking, it’s time to develop the listed skills. You don’t need Harvard or expensive courses from popular coaches, all advice are simple and can be used on your daily basis.
When going to stimulate the ability to think creatively, it is worth figuring out what do you like and when do you think better. For example, Agatha Christie came up with ideas for her novels while she was washing dishes. She said that it was such a depressing exercise that thoughts of murder came to mind. Think about the situation that will become such a trigger for you.
Think of what inspires you
Different people need different things to create, and innovative thinker meaning just can’t cover all possible options. You can be inspired by:
- difficulties — the more challenging the task, the more you want to find a solution;
- refusal of pleasure — “I don’t think of it, this candy will remain where it lies”;
- the game — imagine that you’ve started a competition with a friend who is in a minute comes up with more ideas for a new project.
Hearing “say something” do you sprinkle with ideas of forget each single word you know? Constraints are necessary for creative thinking. You can think up a task for yourself and start a timer, to write a story where each word has the same first letter. Think about Hemingway and his “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”. He used that writers’ exercise: come up with a full sad story, consisting of 6 words only.
However, do not expect it will work without preparation. Read as much as possible about the issue, discuss it with people and then you’ll receive a lot of innovative ideas. What are creative thinking skills without hardworking and analyzing your mistakes? Nothing. It’s not about spark, it’s about inventing the fire.
Walt Disney creativity strategy
Consider each situation from the point of view of different people: a dreamer, a realist and a stern critic.
Example: you want to introduce a new product, but don’t know how your target audience will react. Your inner dreamer paints a perfect picture, realist thinks constructively and the critic doubts all the time: what if something goes wrong? It helped Walt Disney and it will definitely help you.
Train every day
Exactly, you don’t need special exercises or sacral knowledge to train creative mindset. You can do it on a daily basis, using everything that surrounds you. Take a look at your table, how the things on it can help you? You can use your pen to write a note, but are there other ways? Maybe pen will support your plant or you can take vase and make a canopy for the lamp. Don’t limit with usual options, come up with something really extraordinary. You need to cover a lot of ground before you succeed.
Free writing is a method used not only by writers and journalists. It is suitable for anyone who can write and turn on the timer.
Take some time and write about everything you’re worrying. Don’t edit your text, don’t think it is stupid or inappropriate, just write. Your first text will be terrible, but the more you write, the more ideas come to mind. Sleep with them and bravely implement!
Do not stop there.
People have a lot in common. That’s why it is hard to invent an idea that has never occurred to anyone. The only difference is when you give up.
There is an interesting exercise. Take away your phone, turn off all reminders and give yourself an hour to write the 100 ideas for the issue. The first 10 will come up easily, but they’re the most obvious and standard. The further, the harder and at first times you will finish only with 15-20 ideas. But when you write your 50th, you will see how creative is it. Train your brain and creative mind to receive new wonderful results.