The first step to improve your creative thinking ability is to understand how it works so that you can know where you currently stand in the creative process and how to get to the stage where you aspire to go.
Since formative years of one’s life, much emphasis during school education is given on developing capacities of the left hemisphere of our brain, which is logical, language-based, rational and objective.
The right hemisphere, by contrast, is visual rather than verbal. It is influenced by deep thinking and creative instincts and responsible for shaping non-verbal capabilities.
Eventually, the optimal level of creative thinking will depend upon how best you are able to engage the whole brain by leveraging potential of both the right and left hemisphere activities of your brain function. In fact it is a practical way how any work should be managed using full powers of both the hemispheres. And this is also the trait most companies seek while recruiting management graduates today. Businesses look for creative employees these days.
As per the Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2017 published by Graduate Admission Management Council (GMAC), “Employers who plan to hire business school graduates in 2017 were asked to designate the proficiency level for 25 specific skills within five broader categories that they would require of a candidate being considered for a mid-level position. Employers ranked the specific subsets of skills in each category in order of proficiency level (from ‘not required’ to ‘expert’). To compare the importance of each specific skill a Standardized Proficiency Rating was calculated for each skill.”
Of the top five ranked skills, four fall within the communications category which is largely a function of the right hemisphere of the brain related to creative thinking abilities namely Oral communication, listening skills, written communication, and presentation skills.
As a matter of fact, most of the prominent companies today highly value problem solving skills that use creative thinking abilities.
So, won’t it be a good idea to familiarize ourselves with the ways to hone creative thinking skills when the matter is related to getting hired by our dream company.
Here are five ways to improve your creative thinking and innovation skills…
- 1. Think Different
“Think different” was not just an advertising slogan for Apple Inc. but perhaps a belief in the power of creative thinking that transformed the company into an iconic masterstroke of technological innovation. Steve Jobs didn’t start treading the trodden path. He did not settle for the contemporary but thought creatively of improving it further like several others did by using their creative faculty to innovate something new and better.
Although there are no fixed formulas / patterns for building creative thinking capabilities, however before attempting to hone creative instincts you should be able to fully understand yourself first – your approach in perceiving / observing things based on your interest, temperament and personality.
This approach will make you aware about your creative thinking process and will prove to be a powerful tool to generate many new ideas for finding ways to deal with unseen challenges ahead.
2. Creative Thinking Requires Practice
Thinking creatively is a matter of regularly practicing your powers of imagination, observation and dreaming. It requires concentration and focus. In this era of information overload and disruptive technology, this important element surely needs some training to develop this mental faculty.
For our mental powers to support creative thinking it is important that we sometimes stay focused on the main task at hand, withholding ourselves from routine actions, so that we can create an enabling environment for the most creative idea to finally come up. In your daily actions, practice spending time on cultivating the habit of imagination which is essential for creative thinking and innovation.
3. Give Yourself Some Time
The next rule of creative thinking is very simple: allocate time for fresh ideas to pop up. Allocate specific time in which you can do some exercises like reading and writing to activate imaginative thinking. Like any other skill, the ability to articulate creatively will only come through practice with patience.
Creative thinking is the most sought after skill these days. And with challenging yourself to practice thinking more creatively daily, you can push your limits to generate novel ways to do things.
4. Creativity Thrives With Limitations
The biggest mistake that people make with creative thinking is their belief that freedom drives creativity.
In fact, it is just the opposite. Constraints and limitations force you to think differently and innovatively. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.
“When you have fewer resources and time, you’re forced to find novel solutions” says Jeffrey Preston Bezos, Chief Executive Officer of Amazon.com, the world’s largest online shopping retailer.
5. Stop When Getting Bored
When your mind is racing but leading nowhere, perhaps it is time to pause and do nothing. At those times you will realize how great it is to create new things, connect the dots, and come up with new ideas. When you have regained your momentum, try doing something you haven’t done before to stretch your limits. This will help you in exploring your true potential to think and act creatively.
The Final Word
Creative thinking is a gradual process of self-discovery. Forcing yourself to rethink the way you usually work requires constant hard work and mind practice. True creativity helps you to often come up with even better solutions that you wouldn’t have thought of before.
By thinking creatively young managers can look for newer ways of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective. It also gives them the ability to break stereotype thinking.
Creative thinking is an important life skill worth developing early. It helps to develop imagination and concentration. Being creative gives you an edge over others and differentiates yourself from the crowd.
Creative thinking helps in all areas of your life. As you start thinking innovatively, you tend to absorb new knowledge and experiences in the process which opens a whole new set of opportunities. When you use creative thinking, you create opportunities all around you.
Creative thinking is one of the most important ways to develop do it yourself attitude. So go ahead and take the initiative to see what path your creative thinking leads you to.