Growing Your Creative Superpower 


Creativity as a route to survival may not feel very comfortable. In times of upheaval such as in 2020 we often fall back on what we know, as a crutch to support our thinking and help us find a way through. Whilst our past experiences may offer a framework or approach to finding a solution – what if our situation needs a new approach? What if this is just the opportunity we were looking for to expand our horizons, but the constant change has made us fearful? Maybe we just need to be more creative…..

 

A 2012 Adobe study on creativity shows 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth and nearly two-thirds of respondents feel creativity is valuable to society, yet a striking minority – only 1 in 4 people – believe they are living up to their own creative potential.

“In today’s climate of intense competition, we must find ways to develop “integrative thinking” — the thinking that leads to new business ideas, especially in science and technology. Integrative thinkers turn challenges into real business opportunities through their ability to think critically, analytically, and with imagination. Their inspiring and visionary approach helps drive business growth.” Mirian Graddick-Weir

 

Creativity also has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as a top 10 skill for 2020. It’s not just about business – we solve challenges in all aspects of our lives on a daily basis. This has certainly been true for many people who have been home schooling and working from home whilst caring for older family members.

 

 

So how do you grow more it?

Right Brain, Left Brain?

The right brain left brain theory originated in the work of Roger W. Sperry, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981. Generally speaking, the left side of the brain tends to control many aspects of language and logic, while the right side tends to handle spatial information and visual comprehension. But more modern theories around brain function suggest that this is too simplistic

I often hear – “I’m no good at being creative, I’m left brained”. Well, I am an accountant with over 25 years of technical experience on my CV. These type of skills tend to be considered “left brain” activities. However, I am now an author, I create learning packages and teach emotional intelligence – all right brain activities. So, whatever your initial tendency or approach – creativity can be learned.

“It’s absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right. But people don’t tend to have a stronger left- or right-sided brain network. It seems to be determined more connection by connection,” Rd. Jeff Anderson.

So, the more connections you make, the more creative you can become. The question is where to start! There are many theories around creativity and here is one by Robert Sternberg

Sternberg’s 5 Components of Creativity

Expertise: The more ideas, images and phrases we have to work with the more chances we have to combine these as building blocks for a new solution. Could you do more research?

Imaginative Thinking skills: The ability to see things in new ways and to recognize patterns and therefore to make connections. Are you making connections anyway but not acting upon them?

A Venturesome Personality: This is someone who tolerates ambiguity and risk and seeks new experiences. Happy not to follow the pack. Could this be you?!

Intrinsic Motivation: Motivation is not something inherent in a person according to Sternberg – “One decides to be motivated by one thing or another.” Are you motivated to try new solutions?

A Creative Environment: You need an environment that is supportive and rewarding of creative ideas. Somewhere that inspired you. There is no room for negative judgement in your new creative life. What would a creative environment look like for you?

Other Theories? 

Scott Barry Kaufman, from the University of Pennsylvania’s research also follows a similar line.

Preparation – learn more, as it will give you more options.

Incubation – stop consciously thinking about your issue and start day dreaming. I can certainly confirm that this has been working for me for years. Whenever I have a hard technical question to solve, I start gardening. That mindful pursuit gives my creative brain the opportunity to find a new way.

Illumination – This is what happens when you join together the dots of what you know in a different way.

Verification – this is the process of making sure your new idea can work in the real world.

 

 

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About The Author

Sharon Critchlow

Sharon Critchlow is a Wellbeing Advocate, speaker and facilitator at Discover Your Bounce for Business. Passionate about people being the best they can be she is a Time To Change Champion for mental health and holds a Masters level qualification in strategic coaching for performance. Sharon is a qualified accountant and has 20 years experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. www.discoveryourbounce.com www.time-to-change.org.uk