We were all born with an intrinsic creative compass. Children approach their environment with curiosity, a sense of wonder, and a desire to learn about the world around them. The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking is often cited as an example of how children’s divergent thinking diminishes over time. 98% of children in kindergarten are “creative geniuses” . This ability is reduced drastically and by age 25, only 2% remain creative geniuses. How does this happen? Why is it that as adults, many of us come to feel alienated from this lose much of the inquisitive, creative mindset?
It’s an especially troublesome phenomenon, given that complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity are the three most important skills we need in order to thrive as professionals, according to the Future of Jobs Report reported by The World Economic Forum. We are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution and harnessing the power of creativity is becoming a “must-have” on most resumes.
Embracing a creative mindset can help you achieve your personal, professional, and personal development goals. In today’s article we’ll share 5 ways to spark creative thinking.
Becoming a Design Thinker
The concept is simple to understand, however, application is much more difficult. Mastering design thinking techniques and learning to apply them for career advancement and company success is best accomplished by taking courses online at a world-renowned university. Open Campus, The New School’s portal for continuing and professional education offers courses focused on design thinking through their certificate, Design Leadership for Business. There, you can learn essential strategies that can drive innovation in your business.
Companies like IBM, Intuit, Apple, Airbnb and many more have used design thinking to dominate their sector. Their approach to innovation and problem solving has helped many tech companies scale but are also helping non-tech companies experience rapid growth. Elements such as empathy, research, ideation and prototyping are used as a method for the practical, creative resolution of common business problems across industry.
Getting comfortable with Uncertainty
Sometimes, to think creatively, you have to do things that don’t quite make sense to a logical-thinker. It might seem like the things you are doing are going against the process, but that is okay! You have to shake things up to see the problem and therefore the solution for a whole new perspective.
By creating uncertainty and questions, you can activate the fear center in the brain. If you are the type of person who gets overly anxious when faced with uncertainty, that is okay. A tip you can follow is to create as much certainty in the rest of your life as possible. For example, Steve Jobs woke up at the same time, wore the color and style of shirt every day, ate the same foods, and followed a routine throughout his day. Therefore, when you do need to think creatively, you have saved the creative juices and will have more stamina to create uncertainty in your creative process.
Adapting and Reframing Failure
Jeff Bezos has made Amazon.com a household name around the world. Bezos is a great example of how to reframe failure. In a rare interview with Business Insider, he disclosed that he has made some mistakes and experienced spectacular failures.
“I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com. Literally billions of dollars of failures….None of those things are fun but they also don’t matter.”
Bezos went on to say that it’s not the failures that matter, but the willingness to try, to experiment with new businesses to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant in an ever-changing world.
Own your failure and don’t try to hide it. Ask others for feedback on your creative projects and don’t shy away from listening to the constructive criticism. You never know what someone else will notice about your idea that you can use to turn into a creative solution.
Diversifying your skillset
Taking classes to diversify your skills is also a great way to spark a creative breakthrough. Learning strategies from courses like Social Media Marketing, Design and Innovation for Sustainable Business from Open Campus will give you the diversity of skills you need to advance your thinking and your career.
You can also diversify your location. Get up and move from your standard space. Go sit in a park, work from home, drink a coffee at a new café, or just go for a walk. A change in environment can be the push you need to open your mind entirely and trigger new ideas or connections.
Keep on Improving
Creative people have a “growth mindset” instead of a fixed mindset. Having a growth mindset means being a lifelong learner. Individuals with this mindset put themselves in a position to experience explosive career growth and are better prepared for the opportunities and obstacles that come their way. They do this by continuing to take courses and training in order to add to their skill set and knowledge base.
A recent Pew research study found that 87% of learners who took a course or got training for job-related pursuits say their activities helped them feel more capable and well rounded. 65% of those learners say that they were able to expand their professional circles by taking additional courses and training.
The online courses available at Open Campus allow students to work very closely with the faculty and peers, truly focusing on developing their projects and career.
Being able to solve problems creatively is a skill that you must hone and work on regularly to fully develop. The more you are able to overcome the natural mechanisms of your brain, the more creative problem solving becomes second nature.
Visit Open Campus today and learn how to apply design thinking skills to your own professional field or discipline, as well as everyday life!