Creativity is the topic that has formed the core of my professional and personal lives since I was introduced to it during studies at Unisa in the 80’s. I subsequently did my doctorate on the topic and would like to share some of my insights with my readers in the light of the vast pleasure, benefit and lustre it has brought to my life.
More importantly, creativity is the highest form of brain functioning and holds the solutions to every problem we might face in our complex, threatened the world of today. These days there are therefore hardly any corporate mission statement that does not herald creativity or a CEO who does not laud it. In an IBM poll a few years ago, the overall viewpoint of 1 500 CEO’s was that creativity is the number-one leadership competency of the future.
Forty years ago, Dr. Paul Torrance, the most important pioneer in the formal study of creativity, already said: “The genius of the future will be the creative mind adapting itself to the things to come. This will require bursts of insight. The skills of creative thinking must be recognized as mankind’s most important adaptability skill.”
And yet, despite all the attention that business and for that matter general creativity in schooling and everyday life has won over the past years, far too little is known the concept; it’s meaning and skillful application in everyday business and life. If success is our goal, it is crucial for us to dig deeper and start asking where creative breakthrough ideas come from? How does the human brain “get” there?
Another key question is what leaders can do to cultivate and sustain the mindsets, tools, and techniques that creative solutions require. Creativity also does not happen in a vacuum. It requires a specific nurturing climate and culture. This thus also requires the acute attention of leaders.
The problem with creativity is that it is somewhat of a “dustbin” term in everyday conversations. It is not commonly realized that creativity is a formal study subject and has an entire body theory attached to it. In daily life and business, the word “creativity” is used without a crystal clear understanding of what the concept really means.
In the common tongue, creativity is still sometimes used as synonymous with art, music, drama etc. Most people also do not understand the real meaning and implications of creativity. It has most probably never been explained to them and nor were they provided with the skills to utilize it in every dimension of their lives. So, watch the thinkingfit.co.za blog as I am embarking on a series of entries on how to “up” South Africa’s individual and collective creative potential.
As a starting point, use a journal and take five minutes to answer the following questions:
- Have you ever learned the formal definition of what creativity really means?
- Have you always thought that creativity belongs to others and not to you?
- Have you ever been exposed to learn creativity tools and techniques?
- Has your current creative potential ever been tested?
The services I offer in my private practice as a mentor, life/business coach and psychologist include training in the above-mentioned questions. thinkingfit Pty. Ltd. also offers training in groups. For further information, contact me as per information on my website.
Creativity is a human being’s greatest asset but withers without exercise!