Sunday, May 20, 2007

Creativity and Thinking

Someone creates a new idea that becomes a fad or a new approach that gets implemented as a better solution to problems. We simply  adopt the idea and make it our own.

We are all very good at thinking about and solving problems. A problem is something that requires a decision on action to be taken. Where are we going to go on vacation? What to watch on TV? How to pay our bills? How to get the kids to practices?

We then make a judgement as whether or not we need additional information based on our knowledge of the problem. What kind of information? Where do we get it from? When do we have enough information? What are our time constraints? And so on. Then we make a choice if we have alternatives based on whatever criteria we choose to apply. This is usually what we mean by thinking.

We admire the results of creativity and usually call it a gift. One that we either have or not. We delegate it to the arts such as literature, music, sculpture or to designers from buildings to toys to clothes. There is an aura of mystery and an almost mystical quality to it that we cannot understand; just admire.

What if creativity is just a different type of thinking skill that we could learn and practice?

This is the first post on a mini series on deliberate creativity.



12 conversations:

coach said...

I think creativity is something we are all born with, just look at the very young at play. Unfortunately for many the way we are taught can suppress this natural creativity. Traditional models of learning and teaching to some extent do not encourage the creative process. Perhaps we can all learn to get back some of this natural creativity.

I look forward to reading more in your series.

Peter Haslam said...

Exactly coach I believe it is needed to create new solutions to the current problems of the world. Thank you for joining the conversation

Princess Haiku said...

I think we are all born with some creativity and it can be developed at any age. However, for many people it's like language; it needs to be acquired fairly young. A few outstanding artists or writers start after midlife but this is the exception. If you were to examine their lives you might see that they were gifted and creative in another area already for example. I believe I am making a case for integrating itinto the school curriculum. I am also not saying that adults can't do way more than they believed was possible.

Mr Besilly said...

I write a lot about creativity. You are onto the right ideas here. Creativity is an action, it's not a feeling. I've heard the phrase, I'm not feeling very creative used on more than one occasion. Creativity is defined as the state or quality of being creative.

The more we unleash creative ability the better we will become at expressing our own originality and imagination.

Peter Haslam said...

Princess Haiku you make a good point that we need to exercise our creative muscles early and continuously.

Peter Haslam said...

Mr Besilly it is an action and can be done 'on demand' so to speak. Thank you for joining the conversation

Comedy + said...

While I was still working I noticed that when I became more proficient in something then my thought process about that became keener. I began to look deeper and deeper into whatever that something was. Gaining more information and options.

I don't think one is ever too old to learn to be creative in one way or another.

Peter Haslam said...

True Sandee until you can't see a solution or next step. Then creativity is required.

Bobby Revell said...

Creativity and a persons abilities to be such is a type of thinking that can be learned. Though it is usually thought of as art, literature. etc. I believe it applies to all thinking. All skills and careers can and should have a creative aspect. Teachers, business people and programmers to name a few can be creative and logical simultaneously. That's what makes them special and inspiring. We humans need creativity in our lives, it's part of what makes us
and our lives so worthwhile. I'm
inspired simply by this article!
Great piece.

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks for your input Bobby and i happen to agree

Ed said...

You need the spark, but you also need an environment to be creative in. No doubt there are plenty of brilliant minds in Africa, but when you dont know where the next meal is coming from, you tend not to spend too long solving a great engineering problem, or whatever else needs a creative solution.

van Gogh sort of blows a hole in that theorem but you get the idea!

Peter Haslam said...

Absolutely right Ed survival needs come first and we can show extreme creativity in coming up with our essential needs. Nutrition is another issue that affects the ability to be creative. Good point