Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Creativity & Neurology

There is no template that you can apply creativity and suddenly you become creative, it must be done continually, patiently, and individually.

At present days, we cannot separate knowledge and creativity if we want to stay competitive on the market. Creativity is a complex neuro-psycho-philosophical phenomenon which is difficult to define literally. Fundamentally creativity involves the ability to understand and express novel orderly relationships. The four stages of creativity based on neurologist’s research include the following:

Preparation: Creativity has just become indispensable. A creative mind is free of psychological inertia. The mind needs to be freed so that it actively collects information, prepares to connect the dots for sparking creativity and allows ideas to flow through. ‘Creativity’ is a precursor to knowledge in many ways. A high level of general intelligence, domain-specific knowledge, and special skills are necessary pre-requisites to nurture creativity. It is possible that in addition, some creative people might have architectural alternations of specific portions of the posterior neocortex. Associated with such pre-requisites, a relentless learner seeks to develop the repertoire of skills that enable him or her to engage the tensions between opposites long enough to transcend duality to connect creativity dots and seek out novel solutions. Collectively, to prepare the set the preparation stage of stimulating creativity, you need streamlined innovation management processes to deal with ideas, discussions, funding and empowering for generating and managing ideas in a structural way.

Incubation: The process of creative incubation necessitates the need for an ability of divergent thinking, a novelty-seeking behavior, some degree of suppression of latent inhibition and a subtle degree of frontal dysfunction. Incubation time is the time taken for the subconscious mind to respond to stimuli until it delivers a result back to the conscious mind. In the context of product design and most other creative activities, incubation time can typically take days and weeks, sometimes less, sometimes more. This incubation process or gestation time is absolutely essential for good design and at the core of the creative practice and competence. An essential aspect of creativity, both at the individual or group level, is the ability to challenge assumptions, conclusions, and beliefs. While imagination helps us expand our ideas, knowledge helps us refine our idea of what is economically feasible. However, keep in mind though, there is false information, and knowledge is outdated sooner than you think. On one hand, you need to get knowledge from every source that you can. On the other side, you have to be selective. You have to digest knowledge, and not just understand it on the superficial level, but to “see” things or make connections others cannot, in order to stimulate creativity.

Illumination: A creative mind has such “AHA” moment, just like the very moment when lightbulb switch is on - the transcendence from darkness to brightness. It is not the light, but the process of "clicking or switching," giving rise to "glowing." It triggers the ignition of the inflammable material leading to a series of effects. But how to capture the "Aha Moment" for creating Light Bulb Ideas? As many creatives may tell you, ideas tend to come when you stop thinking about the problem. Hence, some seemly "mindless" activities such as walking, stretching, meditation, or even sleeping can ignite your creativity. In fact, the "AHA" moment often comes from the “unexpected moment.” Perhaps the creativity clicks at the intersection of the subconscious and conscious thinking. It is clear that creativity, in general, can be enhanced by performing a task, with the subject of the creative effort having nothing to do with the task. It is just leaving things to subconscious thinking. The more dots you have, the better connected your mind becomes, the more creative you become and more "aha moments" you can experience

Verification: This stage is about actual idea creating and implementation. An idea is just an idea unless executed. Focusing or convergent thinking helps in terms of the execution of an idea. In other words, focusing helps to validate or invalidate an idea. The nature of how the implementation of the idea has to follow a logical path for the solution. If you remember that ideas are built on other ideas and that idea combination is a powerful technique, then having a big amount of ideas is a good thing as long as you then try and get the best attributes of the ones you like and combine them into one solid implementation outcome. Further, through creativity (imagining, testing the hypothesis, failing, entreating, improving) new knowledge is developed and the new concept is verified. If we do all these things well, and then people and the organizations we inhabit adapt to the ever-changing environment and evolve in an ideal world to improved levels of form, function, and prosperity.

There is the neurology behind creativity. The purposeful manipulation of the stages of 'preparation,' 'incubation,' and 'illumination' is a widespread protocol for creative output among professionals. There is no template that you can apply creativity and suddenly you become creative, it must be done continually, patiently, and individually. But it is important to realize that there are basic principles and rules that make creative work. There are both art and science in creativity.