Monday, September 21, 2015

Three Questions to Assess People's Creativity

Creativity is the high level of intelligence.

As businesses get more cut-throat in the face of fierce competitions and unprecedented changes, this puts stress on the labor force that is not conducive to creative, experimental thinking. Thus, it’s no surprise that creativity is emerging as the #1 desired quality for the digital workforce. From talent management perspective, which questions shall you assess the creativity of your staff and, how to untap the potential of collective creativity in your workplace?

Are you good at questioning or are you always rushing to answers? Doesn't the real solution to innovation, creativity begin with inquiry? Observing, questioning, connecting, networking are the key steps in creativity. Creative people ask questions - usually questions no one else would think of, or initiate the open and bold questions such as “Why Not,” or “What if”... Frequently, by deeply observing and relentlessly questioning, the resulting work of art becomes richer and more evocative for the creative inspiration the artist came up with. Your mind is connecting the dots and your vision become clear - so be sensitive to your intuition and listen to it. Creative people are both problem finders and problem solvers and always challenge conventional wisdom by asking questions which often lead to discovering situations others do not see at first. The challenge is perhaps that, this can earn you a label of being 'negative,' because you question everything. Would it not be prudent to focus on ensuring all levels of the organization are well founded on asking learning questions. Again as part of the school of action learning focus on reflection, which assumes one is listening attentively and taking action on the responses to the questions asked.

Are you an “out-of-box” thinker or always following the conventional wisdom: When someone asks you to "think outside the box" - they're telling you to throw conventional wisdom and pure linear logic out the window for a while, and to let the creative mind run free for a while. “The box" is a mental construct made up of personal (self-imposed) and environmental (culture, parental influence, society) components that one operates within, so thinking outside "the box" means doing something outside of the confines of the construct. More often, the box is your safety net and your comfort zone. The box is anyone’s comfort zone, that things are ok and everyone agrees and have the same or similar thoughts. It's a boring tiny space with very little innovative thought contained within the box. In fact, everything in the box is easy to turn stale and stagnant. Great things don't happen inside your comfort zone or in a box; typically, it's associated with convention within context. Organizations need to allow time for a number of different 'creative' activities or opportunities to suit different types of people. In the same way, that people have different 'learning' styles, they also have different innovation styles. Creativity is a synthesis of two qualities: imagination with which you create new ideas and the concreteness with which you can transform ideas into real work.

Do you have “discovering” eyes to see the patterns underneath via practicing Systems Thinking? Creativity is an outcome of a deep understanding of the patterns of thinking that underlies Systems Thinking. There are "common structures" that can be used for the purpose of creativity that is produced by combining different patterns of Systems Thinking. Perhaps this will help. A systems thinker without creativity ends up as a caretaker or administrator. A creative person without systemic thinking might lack structure frame to keep focus. Creativity to some extent is the nature of seeing the patterns that already exist, and then being able to predict how they change, and sometimes manipulate them in a direction that fits our needs or that of our objective.

Creativity is the high level of intelligence. Encourage Diversity of thought and non-egalitarian review. The best way to end up where everybody else is to follow the majority guidance on where to go at every turn. At creative organizations, people are encouraged and given the time resources to work on new things that excite them, all are required to produce new ideas, people are often trained in creative methods and techniques, the business model is often challenged, everyone has a personal creativity objective at work and there is much humor to go around.


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