What is creative thinking, and why is it important in the workplace? Most people associate creativity with artistic tasks such as writing a novel, painting a picture, or composing music. While these are all creative endeavors, not all creative thinkers are artists. Many jobs require creative thinking, including positions in the worlds of business and science.
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.
Over dinner a couple months ago, one of my friends said he needed some help coming up with a name for a new website. He told me a bit about the site and asked if I could help think of something over dinner.
Let's start with a fact: We are all capable of conceiving new, useful ideas. Unfortunately our chances of doing this are hampered by a few stubborn myths. These misconceptions cloak creativity in mystique and they foster elitism-the idea that the potential for innovation and imagination is a rare gift enjoyed by only a select few "creative types."
This myth encourages the belief that creativity is a passive process. It suggests you have to wait and hope that you’ll make a breakthrough.
That Eureka moment is actually the last step in a long, involved process and not the only step. For this to happen, your unconscious mind needs material to work with. You have to put in the hard work of studying and mastering your field and exposing yourself to different perspectives.
The lone genius myth is a stereotype and it’s unhelpful because it suggests the route to innovation is to cut oneself off from colleagues and collaboration. You need a modest amount of intelligence to be creative, but extremely high IQ is neither sufficient nor necessary for being an innovator.