Creativity is a trainable skill
Research shows that with practise, we can all learn to become more creative.
When we hear of people known for their remarkable creativity, it's quick to assume that they are born different from the rest of us. We forget that these creative geniuses often spent years working on projects that did not turn out that well. Many hours of sharpening their thinking or skills finally created something unique.
Puccio’s Thinking Skills Model is one of the best-tested attempts to teach workplace creativity. Research showed that participants in creativity training generated four times as many original ideas as those who didn’t.
The programme highlights the need to balance convergent and divergent thinking. Both are essential. Divergent thinking is creative solutions that may be impractical.
- Divergent thinking is creative solutions that may be impractical.
- Convergent thinking selects and develops the best ideas.
Applying convergent and divergent thinking
How to apply convergent and divergent thinking in seven steps:
- Assess the situation
- Explore the vision
- Frame the challenges
- Explore ideas
- Create solutions
- Explore acceptance
- Create a plan
It takes time to develop creativity skills. But with a bit of work, you can make significant progress.
Primed to learn
The right mindset is needed to develop your creativity.
- Some people see their talents as fixed, so they prefer to stay with the tasks that will result in success. For them, failure would be deeply discouraging.
- Others are learning-oriented. They are more focused on finding opportunities to increase their skills. They see failure as an opportunity for growth.
Research shows that learning-oriented people showed greater improvement in the number and quality of ideas than people who see their abilities as fixed.
The creative life
- Businesses could invest in more training for their teams instead of assuming that creativity will happen naturally. They should also create the right working environment where failure is treated as part of the process.
- If a leader is not aligned to creative-thinking skills, the impact is lessened.
- Even some guidance can be beneficial. Training employees to separate idea generation from idea selection can produce more creative thought.