How to be creative in your work?

Are you being asked to be creative?

Today’s problems are yesterday’s solutions

Peter Senge (born 1947) American senior lecturer and author

So how do we renew ourselves, how do we find new solutions?

Creativity is far from being a gift or innate. You can develop it. In this article, I will detail the four pillars on which creativity is based. To be creative, you just have to have the right balance between the four elements.

Knowledge

Let’s start from the bottom up, you can be creative only in a field you master… If you’ve never touched a brush, don’t know the principles of mixing colors, you can’t draw a painting, even if you have a very clear idea of what you want to do.

It’s the same in all areas: sewing, cooking, construction, programming, formulation. In order to be creative, you have to know and master the basics. It is the mastery of these knowledge that will give the opportunity to play around. Your first step is to make sure you’re looking to express your creativity in an area that has no secrets for you.

Divergent thinking

If the kids don’t know, they’ll try. They are not afraid to make mistakes.

Sir Ken Robinson (born 1950), English author and expert in education.

You will then have to counter your education and the search for the right solution. To be creative, you have to generate solutions, and a lot. You have to propose things, even if you know they can’t work, you have to dare to propose alternatives, adaptations, different ways of doing things. Often one wacky idea leads to another, and then a variation.

Leonardo da Vinci did not create his flying machine the first time, he perfected his knowledge by observing the birds, then made dozens of sketches and hypotheses.

Critical analysis

This skill is generally under the reach of all. We are always very critical of our solutions or ideas. Critical analysis requires beyond criticism to have an honest and fair look. We must not denigrate or hide certain aspects.

This skill must be used in parallel with divergent thinking to find new and better ideas at every moment. It supports creation by preventing you from getting bogged down in tracks that lead nowhere.

You can use the SMART method to set a problem-solving goal. What is the goal, how will you know that you have solved the problem. With the SMART lens in mind, it’s easier to critically analyze solutions.

Communication

Finally, the last element to be creative is the ability to communicate ideas. You must be able to express clearly, and succinctly what’s going on in your mind. The best ideas, if it cannot be explained, will remain forever in your mind.

To develop your communication, you mostly need practice, whether it’s in a club, like Toastmaster,or in a more personal way, you can develop that skill. Start by writing down the idea you want to share, then test your pitch with a family member, friend, colleague, ask for a feedback, start again.

In conclusion

To remember

Everyone is creative, in their area of expertise. Think about balancing your expertise with divergent thinking and critical analysis, a good dose of communication and you will become the creative of your next projects!

Take action! Set a development goal and become more creative.

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