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The Value of Ignorance to Your Creative Process

Creativity Means Breaking Preconceptions

When we start something with a preconceived notion, we stifle any creative process. An open-mindedness combined with a willingness to experiment can provide us with a pleasant surprise in the final outcome, as we embrace the unexpected and are open to where the process takes us.

The unknown territory is to be reached in our path towards being creative when our expertise fails to hinder our experiments.

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The Value of Ignorance to Your Creative Process

The Value of Ignorance to Your Creative Process

https://www.inc.com/thomas-oppong/this-is-the-value-of-ignorance-to-your-creative-process.html

inc.com

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Key Ideas

Creativity: An Open Process

The element of surprise is something creative professionals do not have in their radar, as they are having the ‘constraints’ of knowledge, expertise, skill and past experience to start any work.

Real creativity is borne out of a certain ignorance, being oblivious of the boundaries that surround us. One has to see a creative process with fresh eyes and without the usual constraints and assumptions.

Embracing The Uncertainty Of The Creative Process

Creativity becomes a moving, living thing when it is set free, and one has to incorporate multiple perspectives and ideas to foster and nurture the plant, facilitating the blossoming of something unique and truly innovative.

Ignorance is not an enemy, and it helps to shake yourself out of the plan and build something out of a unique flowering, where knowledge can be a hindrance.

Creativity Means Breaking Preconceptions

When we start something with a preconceived notion, we stifle any creative process. An open-mindedness combined with a willingness to experiment can provide us with a pleasant surprise in the final outcome, as we embrace the unexpected and are open to where the process takes us.

The unknown territory is to be reached in our path towards being creative when our expertise fails to hinder our experiments.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve ...

Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

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Constraints vs Obstacles

Constraints are viewed as obstacles. The common wisdom regarding obstacles suggests that we have to remove all constraints.

We tend to believe that by getting rid of all rules and regulations...

Embracing Constraints

New research suggests that managers can innovate better by embracing and working with constraints, instead of viewing them as a hindrance to innovation.

The Mind Needs A Challenge

When there are no challenges in the creative process, complacency comes in, and people tend to go for the most intuitive and easy ideas rather than investing in the development of better but difficult to implement ideas.

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Creativity
The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts.

While being creative isn't easy, nearly all great ideas follow a sim...

The 5 Step Creative Process
  1. Gather new material directly related to your task as well as learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
  2. Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind.  Examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
  3. Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
  4. Let your idea return to you. After you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
  5. Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.
Creativity is learned

Some people are primed to be more creative than others.

However, nearly every person is born with some level of creative skill and the majority of our creative thinking abilities are trainable.

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Creative Thinking Defined

Creativity is not just reserved for artistic tasks such as writing, painting or composing music.

Creative thinking is the ability to consider something – a conflict between empl...

Top Creative Thinking Skills
  • Analytical. Before thinking creatively about something, you first have to be able to understand it.
  • Open-Minded. Setting aside any assumptions or biases you may have, and look at things in a completely new way.
  • Problem Solving. Using your creativity to solve important issues.
  • Organization. Being able to structure a plan of action with clear goals and deadlines is vital.
  • Communication. Strong written and oral communication skills to communicate your solutions effectively.
Examples of Creative Thinking
Generally, anything that involves an “aha” moment is considered creative.
  • Artistic Creativity. You don't have to be an artist for your work to have an artistic element. For example: Composing a new fundraising script for volunteers or devising a lesson plan that will engage students.
  • Creative Problem-Solving. For example: Coming up with new procedures to improve quality or suggesting a way to improve customer service.
  • Creativity in STEM. For example: Constructing a research model to test a hypothesis or devising a computer program to automate a billing process.
Brainstorming

It encourages people to come up with thoughts and ideas that can, at first, seem a bit crazy. Some of these ideas can be crafted into original, creative solutions to a problem, while others can ...

Brainstorming for problem solving
  • It brings team members' diverse experience into play. It increases the richness of ideas explored, which means that you can often find better solutions.
  • It can help you get buy-in from team members for the solution chosen – after all, they're likely to be more committed to an approach if they were involved in developing it. 
  • It helps team members bond, as they solve problems in a positive, rewarding environment.
Why individual brainstorming might bring better results
  • groups aren't always strict in following the rules of brainstorming, and bad behaviors creep in
  • people pay so much attention to other people that they don't generate ideas of their own – or they forget these ideas while they wait for their turn to speak. 

On your own, you don't have to worry about other people's egos or opinions, and you can be freer and more creative.

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Feeling forced

Connections are the core of creativity. However, fear and anxiety prevent you from making connections. 

Fear cannot create. It can only resist. When you do things you don't want to do...

Seeing before creating

You, as the creator, have a vision you have to pursue. You can't see what you're creating, only the materials.

You have to see the elements and bring them together. You connect them to see the spark of creation.

Ego and excitement

If you work from a place of creating what you want to create, you will always work from the true self.

But the ego will get you excited over the possibility of getting attention. You might believe this excitement is the same as desire. It is not. If you still create, even though you receive no acclaim, you are creating from your true self.

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How Social Environments Influence Creativity
How Social Environments Influence Creativity

As we grow older, we take cues from our environment and become serious and rigid, conforming to the norms and rules imposed upon us.

Our social environment, especially our ...

How The Meaning of "Being Creative" Changed

In the 70s, creativity was thought of as a trait, something a few geniuses have, and the rest of us do not.

New studies show that ‘extrinsic’ motivators, factors outside ourselves, can influence our creativity. Competition, evaluation, level of strictness along with rewards and punishment play a huge factor in a person’s overall creative levels.

How To Kill Creativity

Knowledge that someone will check, evaluate and grade one’s work, surveillance, a promise of a reward, threat of a punishment, creative constraints, competition and motivating factors like power, money and fame can kill creativity.

Rewards generally provide the individual with a feeling of being controlled, but can also enhance creativity in some cases.

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Innovation and Creativity
Innovation and Creativity

Creativity is about formulating new original ideas, while innovation is about how those ideas are being incorporated to produce and introduce new, useful, and feas...

Innovation in Entrepreneurship and Startups

Innovation can be achieved by mature, large companies, not only by startups.

While most innovation comes from startup companies, some of the top innovative companies are mature and large (Apple was founded in 1976 and generates $228 billion. Google: 1998, $78 billion, Microsoft: 1975, $87 billion.) The myth acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy and deters large companies from attempting to innovate like startups.

Being born creative

Creativity can be learned and exercised.

It can be affected by your practices, how you expose yourself to old ideas, procrastinate to let them incubate, trigger the combination of those ideas into new ones, and relax to let it happen. Great ideas might feel accidental, but they are not.

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Innovation at work
Innovation at work

When you look at great geniuses like Newton, for example, it can be easy to imagine that their ideas and work came exclusively out of their minds. But that is seldom how it works.

Innovatio...

Everyone gets a lift up

We get to see further than our predecessors, not because we have a greater vision or greater height, but because we are lifted on their gigantic stature.

There are giants in every field. Don't let them intimidate you. Take from anywhere that resonates with you and inspires or fuels your imagination. Build upon it and improve it. Doing this will make your work authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.

The "Not invented here" syndrome
'Not invented here syndrome' is a term for situations when we avoid using ideas, products, or data created by someone else, and instead develop our own even if it is more expensive, time-consuming, and of lower quality.
The syndrome can also show up as a reluctance to delegate work.
Creating a new solution may be more exciting, but new solutions create new problems.

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    Having An Open Mind
    Having An Open Mind

    Being open-minded is a quality that makes us receptive to a diverse range of ideas, arguments and perspectives that may not align with our own.

    If we are not open-minded, w...

    Closed-Minded People

    They are the individuals that only entertain their existing viewpoints, not being receptive to new ideas and previously unknown beliefs.

    Having strong beliefs is not an indicator of a closed mind. One can have strong convictions and yet be empathetic towards others who have a different viewpoint.

    Cognitive Dissonance

    When a new piece of information that we learn from ourselves conflicts with our existing beliefs, and we are unable to deny the authenticity of the new idea, we experience Cognitive Dissonance.

    If we are able to revise and update our outdated or incorrect belief patterns, we move towards learning and personal growth.

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