It is easy to say “I am not creative” and many people I have come across do in fact say these words. Last year I went up to Durham to work with a great bunch of managers in the constabulary. When asked “Who thinks they are creative?”, out of a group of twenty, one person put their hand up (very brave!)
By the end of the day, when I asked them the same question 15 out of 20 put their hands up. These people did not suddenly acquire new gifts and I did not wave a magic wand (although I do have one) over them. The simple truth is that there is a problem with how we define creativity. Most people will think it is to do with drawing or inventing, and making something completely new.
By redefining what creativity is and teaching people some new “tricks” for generating ideas, most people can change their view on how creative they are.
I would prefer to define creativity as the ability to make even small changes to an existing “thing”, whether it is a process, product or problem, to make it work better. A lot of people think you have to come up with something completely new. Sometimes a tweak is all you need!
We are also used to thinking along the same lines, using similar patterns and that is useful for repetitive tasks, where you want to improve the speed at which you do things. our brains, especially the basal ganglia loves these sort of tasks, for hobbies such as knitting.
So how do we become more creative?
Step 1: Assume that you are creative!
Step 2: Go somewhere different to sit, stand or walk to have your creative moments.
Step 3: Brainstorm or use a creativity technique to produce a list of “no holds barred” ideas, remembering to let them flow and leave the evaluation for a day or so
Step 4: Pick a few ideas that you are immediately drawn to and put a green star next to these.
Step 5: Pick the ideas that you may come back to and put an amber star next to these
Step 6: The ones you do not like put a red star next to them
Step 7: Keep all the ideas and leave them for a day or two before you start to evaluate which ones will be workable.
In times of recession, with training budgets being cut, trainers needs to be more creative. If you can design your own tailor made activities it can save time and money. For this new year why not learn some creativity techniques and how to weave that magic spell over the learners through the language that you use?