I know this is one of my favorite topics and recurring newsletter theme. I’m writing about it today because of something that was in the papers. I recall reading that people confuse creativity with innovation.
Innovation is an end result of creative thinking, it could be a product, or the refinement of a process.
But, thinking creatively – thinking differently (or as Steve Jobs used to say: “different”) or to use the jargon “outside the box” takes a personality that is willing to take risks. Because it takes bravery to say or write something that isn’t the conventional and popular point of view on any subject in particular.
Creative thinking draws from a range of sides – professions – experience – etc. It’s sometimes an amalgam of different puzzle pieces put together in a novel manner.
In addition to being risky because of being outside the norm, people who are creative thinkers have to be willing to be wrong. To fail. To try it (whatever it is) another way. Ultimately it looks so simple, often it is many many times of trial and error before the “right” solution presents itself.
Most solutions occur during “down time” – on the staircase, in the shower, taking a bath or exercising. Those are times when the brain, not completely asleep, is at rest and thus has time to absorb all the data that’s been stuffed into it about the problem needing to be solved.
New ideas come about because of our needing to solve a personal problem, or observing something happening in the world. The key – be present – be aware – be conscious of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and what’s going on around you.