Rajat Joshi Started The Discussion:
This column has been set up on specific requests from members on Lateral Thinking & Creativity.
I devote 20% of my free time in teaching this subject in Colleges & Institutes about lateral thinking and would like to share my thoughts with you all through this column.
Am sure you must be thinking Creativity & Lateral thinking ...ME? surely you must be joking Rajat..it's okay for Sales & Marketing guys..Advertising fellows..right..
If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance.
— Orville Wright, 1871-1948, American Co-Inventor of the first practical airplane
About Creativity at Work
Creativity at Work is a rich resource for developing personal creativity and organizational innovation in the workplace.
What is Creativity?
“Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create–to bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new.”
“A product is creative when it is (a) novel and (b) appropriate. A novel product is original not predictable. The bigger the concept, and the more the product stimulates further work and ideas, the more the product is creative.”
— Sternberg & Lubart, Defying the Crowd
“Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being...creativity requires passion and commitment. Out of the creative act is born symbols and myths. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life. The experience is one of heightened consciousness–ecstasy.” — Rollo May
What is Innovation?
The dictionary defines innovation as the introduction of something new or different. Innovation is the implementation of creative inspiration.
The National Innovation Initiative ™ (NII) defines innovation as "The intersection of invention and insight, leading to the creation of social and economic value."
Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries. Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren't there before.
—Margaret J. Wheatley
Innovation requires a fresh way of looking at things, an understanding of people, and an entrepreneurial willingness to take risks and to work hard. An idea doesn’t become an innovation until it is widely adopted and incorporated into people’s daily lives. Most people resist change, so a key part of innovating is convincing other people that your idea is a good one — by enlisting their help, and, in doing so, by helping them see the usefulness of the idea.
— Art Fry (Inventor of 3M post-it notes)
Myths about Genius
Beliefs that only special, talented people are creative–and you have to be born that way– diminish our confidence in our creative abilities. The notion that geniuses such as Shakespeare, Picasso and Mozart were `gifted' is a myth, according to a recent study at Exeter University. Researchers examined outstanding performances in the arts, mathematics and sports, to find out if “the widespread belief that to reach high levels of ability a person must possess an innate potential called talent.”
The study concludes that excellence is determined by:
• & most of all–practise.
”Few showed early signs of promise prior to parental encouragement.” No one reached high levels of achievement in their field without devoting thousands of hours of serious training. Mozart trained for 16 years before he produced an acknowledged master work. Moreover many high performers achieve levels of excellence today that match the capabilities of a Mozart, or a Gold Medallist from the turn of the century. (The Vancouver Sun, Sept.12/98)
“Behavior is generative; like the surface of a fast flowing river, it is inherently and continuously novel... behavior flows and it never stops changing. Novel behavior is generated continuously, but it is labeled creative only when it has some special value to the community... Generativity is the basic process that drives all the behavior we come to label creative.” — Robert Epstein PhD, Psychology Today July/Aug 1996
• Generative research shows that everyone has creative abilities. The more training you have and the more diverse the training, the greater potential for creative output.
• The average adult thinks of 3-6 alternatives for any given situation.
• The average child thinks of 60.
• Research has shown that in creativity quantity equals quality.
• The longer the list of ideas, the higher the quality the final solution. The highest quality ideas appear at the end of the list.
• Creativity is an individual process. Traditional brainstorming has been proven ineffective because of fear of social disapproval.
• Groups are best for idea selection rather than idea generation.
More in next posts...
The next question is are we creative? ...
Creativity is inherent in all of us ..how many of you remember your childhood days..such carefree days and we all experimented various things...one common thing is we didn;t have FEAR as such for the things we did in our childhood days...
What happend to our creativity of childhood?....obviously it is socialised out of us by do's & don't's...
Creativity is closely linked with Risk taking ability and here below is a great article for reference..
You are a Natural Born Risk-Taker!
by Lisa Jimenez, M. Ed.
Think of the little child who sees a set of stairs for
the very first time.
What goes through that little one's mind when they
look up at that amazing sight?
If you know children, then you know they would think,
"Wow! I've got to get to the top!" They wouldn't say,
"I've got to get to the top!
But, wait. It might be too risky. What would my mom
say? I might get in trouble.
What would my friends say back at the sandbox?
They might judge me.
What would happen if I fell?
I might get hurt. No. It's too risky. I'll just stay
right down here where it’s safe."
Yeah, right. Like that would ever be said by an 18
A young child would see the staircase. Look up to the
Say, "I've got to get to the top!" And he would begin!
Well, my friend, you know this little child. This
little one is YOU! You were once 18 months old. You
once had all the bold, daring, imaginative zest for
life! Ask your parents what you were like when you
were young. It is in your very nature to risk.
So, what happened?
And how do you get this abandoned excitement back?
Well, I believe LIFE happened. And somewhere along the
way you lost your natural, risk taking ability.
However, the truth is, if at one time you had it, then
you can get it back!
Call on your inborn risk-taking ability and take the
first step of your staircase of success!
You are a Natural Born Risk-Taker!
Have a great day!
Lisa Jimenez M.Ed.
"Helping people break through hidden fears and
self-limiting beliefs to live a more outrageous,
Conquer your hidden fears of prospecting and create an
unstoppable mindset! Lisa Jimenez has helped thousands
of top salespeople shatter their self-limiting beliefs
and finally get the success they want. When it comes
to personal productivity and creating unstoppable
momentum - there is no one better for you than Lisa.
Lisa penetrates the hearts of your audience when she
reveals her own experience of how she broke through
self-limiting beliefs and turned them into the driving
force behind her success. Then used these new beliefs
to sign a six-figure consulting contract just 9 months
To order Lisa's best-selling 'Conquer Fear! Ending
Procrastination and Self Sabotage to Achieve What You
Really Want' package go to http://jr2.jimrohn.com or
Do preserve yourself & others while evolving continuously...
Dear Rajat, Thanks a lot for lot of down to earth talk on laterla thinking. Let everybody contribute and learn.
Regarding this topic I share with you a book that helped me a lot to develop creativity in me and train others. This is "Fourth Eye -Excellence through Creativity" by Pradip N.Khandwalla (Publisher:A.H.Wheeler and Co.Allahabad.) The Mental Gym in this book is very helpful. Theoretical, Psychological, experiential and experimental aspects of creativity is exposed excellently in this book.
Thanks Shooonya , psyched & Ricky for encouragement...
Gervase..thanks for informing us about Pradip Khandwalla's book on Creativity..am surprised to note that IIM-A workshops on creativity don't take any reference to this book...can i get the link on web? Surely would get the book..
Creativity and innovation are important keys to success in today’s rapidly changing world. Process improvement, problem solving, recruiting, retaining and motivating employees, decision making, dealing with limited resources, satisfying customers, and rapidly changing technology are all examples of business realities that require creative solutions.
If a survey were to be conducted on the wish list of CEOs - the Creative ideas from Employees would be among the top five! Creativity is today the buzzword for professionals who want to climb the Corporate Ladder.
Also due to Globalization the customers have become more demanding & sophisticated due to availability of information on Internet and wide range of choice of products. The companies have no alternative but to be innovative to cater these markets & products or face the peril of being out-marketed!
Therefore the employees have to align themselves to the Company’s Competitive Advantage in order to fulfill their own career aspirations. Creativity isn’t just for the Marketing Team but for any departments like Finance, Operations, Human Resources etc that wants better solutions to whatever they are working on and get better solutions/ideas which are as practical as possible.
Unfortunately this subject is not taught at schools and Colleges because its importance has not yet been recognized in the Institutes. A lot of people learn about this while on the job or by chance. Was priveleged to work the top Managers in my early career stages which gave me the chance to probe their minds and their thought process..
More importantly - Competency of Creativity is a pre-requisite for the Manager as per The Lancaster Model of Managerial Competencies in Level Three (Meta Qualities) of Successful Manager.
Can anyone relate Creativity to HR?
Look forward to your views/comments...
Thanks for another informative piece.
Let me admit it, i am a novice in HR matters. But after joing this site i am learning several things some of which were possibly obvious to me but which i never considered as important. I am convinced that the learning is helping me to understand myself first, identify my own weak areas and also helping me to get on with my responsibilities in a better way, understanding my colleagues better etc.
I think i can relate "creativity" very much with HR. It is HR through creative thinking and methods implement change management in the organisation, enhance the environment, morale etc and last but not the least - productivity in any organisation. The HR has to be creative, innovative etc to aid the organisation growth.
Thanks once again, but please keep posting such informative pieces
To Teach subject lateral thinking & creativity effectively? am afraid i have no ready made solutions/template for you...
I would suggest the following:-
Read up the available material on this subject - read a book on this by Edward De Bono - he's considered the Father of Lateral Thinking..
Edward De Bono's profile:-
Born in 1933, Edward de Bono attended St Edward's College, Malta, during the war, and then Malta University. Having obtained a degree in Medicine, he then proceeded as a Rhodes Scholar to Christ Church, Oxford, where he gained an honours degree in psychology and physiology and then a D. Phil. in Medicine. He also holds a Ph.D from Cambridge and has held appointments at the universities of Oxford, London, Cambridge and Harvard.
Dr Edward de Bono is widely regarded internationally as the leading thinker about thinking. He has written over fifty (50) books, with translations into twenty-seven languages.
What is unique about Edward de Bono is that he works with school-children, senior executives in major corporations and with governments. His ideas are based on an understanding of the mind as a self-organising information system.
Dr de Bono has provided such thinking methods as ...
PO - The Provocative Operation
Six Thinking Hats
Water Logic (and flowscapes)
CoRT thinking for teaching thinking in schools
The Use of Lateral Thinking (also published as New Think) (1967)
The Five Day Course in Thinking (1968)
The Mechanism of Mind (1969)
The Dog Exercising Machine (1970)
Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step (1970)
Technology Today (1971)
Practical Thinking (1971)
Lateral Thinking for Management (1971)
Children Solve Problems (1972)
Po: Beyond Yes and No (1972)
Eureka: A History of Inventions (1974)
Teaching Thinking (1976)
The Greatest Thinkers - 30 minds that shaped our civilisation (1976)
The Happiness Purpose (1977)
Future Positive (1979)
Atlas of Management Thinking (1981)
Conflicts: A Better Way to Resolve Them
de Bono's Thinking Course (1982) Reissued 1994
The CoRt Thinking Program
Tactics - The Art and Science of Success (1984)
Six Thinking Hats (1985)
Letters to thinkers (1982 - 1987)
I am Right, You are Wrong (1990)
Handbook for the Positive Revolution (1991)
Six Action Shoes (1991)
Serious Creativity (1992)
Teach Your Child How to Think (1992)
Water Logic (1993)
Parallel Thinking - From Socratic Thinking to de Bono Thinking (1994)
Teach Yourself to Think (1994)
Mind Pack (1995)
Textbook of Wisdom (1996)
de Bono's Code Book
Why I Want to be King of Australia
Why So Stupid? More information at the Why So Stupid site, and a section of de Bono's site www.edwarddebono.com
Creativity and its effects…
Blended Learning: It Improves Your Productivity
One of the most commonly used terms in advertising “Creative” types develop ads Ad agencies gain reputations for their creativity The challenge of developing a marketing message is considered creative So
what is creativity?
n. (kre-a’tiv i te)
Having the ability to create (give rise to; cause to exist) things Characterized by expressiveness and originality; imaginative Combining 2+ elements with imagination & technical skills that have never been combined before (Levinson)
How does Levinson define creativity?
The Power of the Meme
Self-explanatory symbol (words, action, sounds, picture) that communicates an entire idea
Lowest common denominator of an idea Alters human behavior (motivates, persuades)Its simplicity makes it easily understandable in seconds
How does marketing creativity differ from creativity in the arts?
Creativity in the Arts
Subject to interpretation
Artist is a focal point
Creativity in Direct Marketing
Relevant for target audience
Campaign communication goals is the focal point
Causes people to change their minds
Why a Creative Approaches Class?
Theories, formulas & checklists
Understand the components of successful direct marketing campaigns There are steps that help the creative process along The ‘science’ of direct marketing
Great DM campaigns do not magically happen Appreciation, respect & attention to the details
Become an information junkie The bodybuilder mentality
Creativity develops with practice & time You must understand “the box” before you can “think out of the box” Let yourself be a novice
Obstacles always seem big the first time Persevering to get over the plateaus You WILL make mistakes! You are not alone Enjoy the process
Where does creativity come from?
How can one person be so creative and another person appear to be uncreative?
The source of creativity really stems back to the brain.
Prior to the beginning of the twentieth century little was actually known about the brain. In the late 1950's and early 1960's some significant research was conducted by Roger Sperry. Sperry's work, which later earned him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1981, clearly showed that the brain is divided into two major parts or hemispheres, the right brain and the left brain.
His research also identified that each of the parts of the brain specializes in its own style of thinking and has different capabilities.
The Left Brain
The left brain is associated with verbal, logical, and analytical thinking. It excels in naming and categorizing things, symbolic abstraction, speech, reading, writing, arithmetic. The left brain is very linear: it places things in sequential order -- first things first and then second things second, etc.
If you reflect back upon our own educational training, we have been traditionally taught to master the 3 R's: reading, writing and arithmetic -- the domain and strength of the left brain.
The Right Brain
The right brain, on the other hand, functions in a non-verbal manner and excels in visual, spatial, perceptual, and intuitive information.
The right brain processes information differently than the left brain. For the right brain, processing happens very quickly and the style of processing is nonlinear and nonsequential. The right brain looks at the whole picture and quickly seeks to determine the spatial relationships of all the parts as they relate to the whole.
This component of the brain is not concerned with things falling into patterns because of prescribed rules. On the contrary, the right brain seems to flourish dealing with complexity, ambiguity and paradox.
At times, right brain thinking is difficult to put into words because of its complexity, its ability to process information quickly and its non-verbal nature. The right brain has been associated with the realm of creativity.
Our educational system, as well as science in general, tends to neglect the nonverbal form of intellect. What it comes down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere.
How often you were encouraged to think differently?
What happened when you did something different ?...
..invariably you were asked to conform to the accepted social norms & mores..beliefs...
Balancing a Checkbook
Take the activity of balancing your checkbook. The left brain engages in a very systematic, sequential and exact approach to getting the job done.
The left brain strives for accuracy in making sure the balance balances. If the right brain were in charge of this activity, the right brain would probably be content to round up or down to the nearest rupee amount: an approach that is unacceptable to the left brain.
Driving in Traffic
Now let's consider another activity: driving on the busy road.
This is clearly the domain of the right brain: spatial relationships, the ability to process information quickly, and to see the whole picture from all of the parts.
If the left brain were in charge here, you would probably hear something like this: "Now the truck is approaching on the right entrance road at a speed of approximately 40 kms per hour, while the white zen car is approaching in the left lane, at 70 kms per hour, swerving slighting in and out of the right lane, and up ahead is a slowly moving car, traveling about 20 kms per hour, that keeps putting on its break lights every ten or fifteen seconds……"
As you can tell, this style of processing information is too slow..and would paralyse you for a minute..
The right brain takes over and quickly assesses what has to be done and reacts accordingly.
This is significant because many times when a person drives a car, the left brain basically checks out and the right brain emerges as dominant. The left brain is "suspended."
When this happens, many people experience some of their most creative thinking. Or how about when you take a shower?….or shaving, or jogging, or swimming? Basic repetitive actions "suspend" the left brain and "release" the right brain.
Tell me did you think of ideas while having a bath this morning..something may have just popped in your mind..from nowwhere..and it went out...chances are we may have forgotten what it was in the first place by the time we go through the motions of getting ready & commuting to office..
The Whole Brain
As we develop our creative skills we must also develop our ability to suspend the left brain and to release the right. The ultimate goal for all of us is to approach our life and our work using a "whole" brain approach. We can't make the mistake of thinking that the left and right brains are two totally separate entities within our bodies. They are connected and do have areas of overlap. An integrated "whole" brain approach begins to maximize the untapped potential of the human brain
Left Brain Right Brain
Words (verbal) Images (non-verbal)
Black & White Color
Critical Thinking Creative Thinking
So Creativity is closely linked with your RIGHT BRAIN !!!...
Look forward to your comments ....
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