The Top Ten Tips to Improve Your Creativity!
Suspend disbelief, and analytical thought processes!
By changing our attitudes and behaviours our creative dispositions are enhanced. Analysis and critique does not play a part in the initial phase of our creative thinking process. Criticism and "belittling" is perhaps part of the prioritisation process, where the most plausible idea is taken forward! At this stage it is all about "why we can" not "why we can't" wwc/wwc. Remember the "analits" will try to rationalise all, so that new born ideas spend little time existing in this world!
Develop opportunistic climates
The removal of psychological barriers to thinking by engendering a supportive and fun orientated climate is only the start. Think actively about your network and engage with those that are fun, maverick, and unconventional. Lemons do not grow in the Arctic.
Problems as solutions
Problems are ripe for solutions, problematic environments provoke creativity. Ensure the compass is set fair for problems, as well as anomalies, discontinuities, and mysteries!
Actively thought capture
Creative thoughts and ideas are easily forgotten. Sometimes an idea has not found its "moment in time". It is critical that one has a mechanism to capture random thoughts and ideas. This can be as simple as a notebook or a word document entitled "ideas". Make sure that you articulate your idea clearly, as what might seem like a good idea now, can become incomprehensible due to the "mists of time" (one speaks from bitter experience!). You will be surprised that after a while you have a bank of ideas, from which you can make withdrawals when you least expect it. Your ideas also gain interest from other ideas in the bank, as you merge and combine different concepts. There is no point in having an incubator, if your chickens lay no eggs!
Build models and break models. Rationalise the world around you by developing your own constructs. Then have fun in developing variants. The higher the number of possible models and concepts you can play with, the greater the number of possible, and different unique outcomes. Maximising concept connectivity is the key.
One element of dissociative creativity is extremoid thinking. The well used SCAMPER acronym contains prompts such as maximise (minimise) which encourages any ideas to be extreme in nature. Used with "reversal" this can be a powerful technique.
Build your capacity to develop analogies, metaphors, and linguistic power
We all know the value of story-telling. By developing your own stories and analogies you are effectively nurturing your ability to manage the process of attribute transfer. The ability to transfer concepts to new contexts is an immensely potent way of developing new ideas. Our language has many terms that link directly to models of creative thinking e.g. simile, personification, and portmanteau. Improved linguistic ability, improves creativity.
Engage your senses
Our sensory channels provide the gateways that map our world. Synaesthesia provides an interesting starting point for the development of conceptual blending. Of more significance is "perceptual positions", whereby individuals are encouraged to adopt the sensory perceptions and attitudes of others, in order to provide novel solutions.
Unexpected outcomes, and novel situations, are good. Follow your nose, and gut, to ensure that you are in a position not to know what is round the corner.
Always have the joker card in reserve. We started by implying that analytical thinking was perhaps not the best way to support the creative thinking process (although we will assume all thinking is good!). Lists are classically the domain of analytical thinking. So thank-you for your time, but ignore this list, and strive to find out what works for you!