Monday, November 20, 2017

The “A” Factors in Creativity

Creativity has many forms and manifestations.

We all have unlimited creative potential and intrinsic ability to think outside of the box and come out novel ideas via connecting unusual dots. But we need to learn how to unlock it. Creativity is a function of imagination, high-level thinking, knowledge, psychology, activities, and motivation. Here are three “A” factors in creativity.

Abstraction: Creative leap is the way to resolve any paradox via going up a level of abstraction. Simplicity is an aspect of “appropriate” abstraction. Abstraction is the cognitive skills which help to clarify and simplify, to capture the substance from style, essence from details, patterns from random things. The ability to abstract and simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary hassles so that the necessary can speak out. Creativity is about connecting dots. Abstraction and simplicity are important skills to reveal in-obvious or hidden connections. The matter of fact is that, often, the simplest abstractions are the hardest to perceive or devise, to capture the unique insight. Because you need complexity to understand and appreciate the simplicity and vice versa. Abstraction is an innate intelligence, the foundation of insight and the key element of creativity.

Analogy: Analogies have been used in the artistic design, literature, engineering, and science, etc., cross-disciplinarily, to discover the patterns, explore fresh ideas, and make vivid communication. Analogy is not just about similarity. Analogies recognize a correspondence of interconnectivity of functions between two or more different phenomenon. Analogy makes tedious theory alive and illustrates the fact with colors and shapes. Analogizing is a creative thinking and communication skill to both help us learn with fun and connect dots vividly. Creativity is an innate process to generate novel ideas. Making analogies between what you could sense and what you could not become an important process in acquiring a wide range of information to which ideas you want to shape, to clarify your thought process and transform your imagination to the reality. Analogizing is one of the most important tools to help people generate creative ideas, enhance creative communication, and build an innovative state of mind for making the creative mental leap.

Audacity: Innovators present creatively disruptive traits, disrupt old ways, and inspire better ways to do things. It takes courage. Audacity is an important factor in creativity, because by nature of creativity, it’s about discovering the new way to do things, and it often means to break the old rules or the “old way to do things.” Rule-breaking or rule-making demands insight, understanding, patience, persistence, and courage, among other things. To be creative, to re-frame, first, you need to embrace the unknown (think outside the box). Second, you need to challenge the known (probe the paradoxes). Many people always live with the conventional wisdom,, the box they are familiar with. But being creative requires you to break down the outdated concept or the little box which restricts your thinking or limit your imagination. Failure is part of innovation; it is very much an intrinsic part of innovating. The innovative attitude should be fearless to change and experiment, but be paranoid to avoid unnecessary mistakes or take a calculated risk.

True creativity has an inner origin. It keeps surfacing from within and keeps expressing. Creativity has many forms and manifestations. And by manifesting creativity via different angles and understanding many important ingredients in creativity, we can develop creative ability effortlessly.


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