The usual approach to work life in an organization does not allow much room for play, risk or individuality. But principles in the natural world suggest a more creative, effective approach. “Everywhere you look in life, what you see is enormous creativity, diversity and experimentation.” The same methods nature uses for producing vital, thriving life forms can bring new life to individuals and organizations of all kinds. In this paper I will try to explain you how to let go of your need for control, invite innovation–and be ready for surprisesIs creativity a momentary flash of inspiration? How are creative ideas generated?” Creativity is, more often than not, the result of four clearly defined steps. Before you expect any creative output, the mind has to go through.
Four-Step Creativity Process
STEP 1: Preparation
You can, and you should, prepare for creativity. All knowledge contributes to creativity. So the ‘Preparation’ stage refers to the process of gathering information and knowledge.
STEP 2 – Incubation
The mind needs periods of incubation to develop creative ideas. Truly creative ideas are generated when you actively engage both your conscious and subconscious mind. In this stage, take time out to slow your brainwaves down, let your subconscious mind generate more ideas.
STEP 3: Inspiration
Inspiration is the stage that ideas occur. It is the moment at which the unconscious and the subconscious minds, having finished working on the problem, present an ‘Aha!’ or ‘I’ve got it!’
STEP 4: Verification
In the final stage, the process is to use our logic and practical thinking to closely examine the collected ideas, and to verify if they are workable.
One common mistake people make during the creative process is they insist on being logical. Of course logic is critical in our daily lives, but there is one place it does not belong – during the creative thinking process and brainstorming activities. There is plenty of time for logic later on, but during the creative process you want as many ideas as you can get, regardless of how ridiculous they might seem at first. Many times we think a creative idea is illogical but when we ask why is it illogical, you often find it’s only a few specific rules or procedures that make it so. If you dig a little deeper, you find that the rules may not apply in this particular case or that they can be modified to allow this new idea to take form. Often this can be done without dramatically changing the rules or suffering any real consequences. To be successful, always remember there is no room for logic during the creative thinking process.
So where do breakthrough ideas come from? What kind of work environment allows them to flourish? What can leaders do to sustain the stimulants to creativity — and break through the barriers? In order to be creative, a person needs to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, he needs to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. And more importantly don’t ever think he’s not creative, every one is. If he tells himself he’s not, then he won’t be. State of mind plays a key role. Keep telling yourself you are creative and you will be. Keep your head high, remain optimistic, and let yourself discover something new.
Most adults have a fear of looking foolish which is one of the biggest obstacles to creative thinking, especially in a group setting. Have you ever been in a meeting and hesitated to speak up about the great idea that just popped into your head? We don’t speak up for fear of criticism. It’s not an irrational or unjustified fear. It’s real. Everyone is a critic in meetings. Many new ideas are attacked and quickly shot down. This impact is especially damaging when the senior person in the room immediately shoots holes in an idea. The best way to completely constipate the flow of creative thought is to shoot down or criticize a new suggestion. Managers should be quiet, listen, and pay attention to what other people have to say. Who knows what it might lead to or what you might learn. Suppression of creativity leads to violence. People are naturally creative. When they are forced to crush their creativity, its energy force turns to destructive release. Their inherent humanity must express itself! Many opportunities and rewards are lost because creativity in the workplace is absent. Instead of having a productive and stimulating environment, workers are faced with boredom as a result of relentless routine.
There’s a widespread belief, that internal competition fosters innovation. But researches found that creativity takes a hit when people in a work group compete instead of collaborate. The attitudes that pervade the operations of a company can enhance or thwart creativity. A close-knit team, drawing on the particular strengths and skills of each member of the group, may be smarter and more effective than any individual member of that group. One of the keys is building feelings of trust and respect to the point that people feel secure enough to express new ideas without fear of censure.
The most creative teams are those that have the confidence to share and debate ideas, that way the work will go more smoothly because they’re taking it lightly. Creativity includes the use of colour, laughter and freedom to enhance productivity. Creativity is fun. When people enjoy what they do, they work much harder. Humour greases the wheels of creativity. Researchers report that when teams of people are working together on a problem, those groups that laugh most readily and most often are more creative and productive than their more hard-faced and well-behaved counterparts. When they’re joking around, they’re freer to consider any possibility–after all, they’re only kidding. Having fun helps them disarm the inner censor that all too quickly condemns their ideas as ridiculous. But when people compete for recognition, they stop sharing information. And that’s destructive because nobody in an organization has all of the information required to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
One way to help people in an organization to focus on creativity is by maintaining a network for people interested in creativity.Communication is absolutely essential to give birth to a creative workplace environment in a mature, seasoned culture. In fact creativity in communication is the key to implementing a culture rebirth because major changes in organizations often evoke resistance based on fear. Therefore managers should share all financial information with all of the employees. Elimination of traditional corporate secrets helps workers to understand the larger reality of the business and encourages them to generate ideas of their own to reduce costs and increase revenues. In addition people tend to rise to the occasion when someone truly believes in them. Many times people are looking for someone to be interested in them and to be accountable to. When they find this individual they will produce. It is essential during a cultural transformation that each person in the firm has someone that believes in them and is counting on them to succeed.
In creative problem solving, a mistake is an experiment to learn from, valuable information about what to try next. Research suggests that creative people make more mistakes than their less imaginative peers. People often back in their efforts because they are afraid of making mistakes, which can be embarrassing, even humiliating thus the degree of creativity is influenced by our feelings: our belief that we can speak without fear of retribution, our feeling of being trusted by others, a confidence in our own intuition.