As a kid, we were told to colour within the lines, and as we grew older, began to think of childhood activities such as play and daydreaming as a waste of time.
What if I told you that your inner child that you learned to suppress through the fear of failure, uncertainty, and risk-taking should be invited back to play?
"How connecting the dots can
help you become more innovative
and creative at work."
As technology advances at a rapid rate, it is essential now more than ever to bring back and harness skills that came naturally as a kid. Automation and artificial intelligence are acquiring and producing faster, safer and sometimes better products and services than we can accomplish as humans.
So where does that leave us?
According to the World Economic Forum; by 2020 one of the most valuable skills we will need for work is creativity. As you scroll through your newsfeed and flip through magazines, you see the catchphrase ‘innovative’ and wonder how in the heck those people and businesses are achieving what they do. Well, I can tell you that what they have done is learned how to harness uncertainty and to develop one of the most human traits… creativity!
You see… what separates humans from all other forms of life, is our ability to dream and imagine.
This form of thinking has been called the creative process, and against popular belief, it is a skill that anyone can learn through practice. That’s right, you don’t need to be born creative, it is a skill that can be nurtured through mental training and your environment, just like a sport.
So, to help you on your way, here are the 6 stages of the creative process:
Exploration – Find something that you are curious about or interested in
Preparation – Learn about it, and question your assumptions (do you have a bias?)
Incubation – Now push that idea out of your immediate attention and let it simmer in the subconscious mind. Try doing mundane activities such as driving, taking a shower, walking outdoors, vacuuming or washing the dishes.
Illumination – This is where insight will occur (that light bulb moment!), or an intuitive idea will surface (don’t try to force an idea… your brain is smarter than you think and will start to connect the dots)
Realization – It’s time to take your AHA moment and give your inspiration context and structure
Verification – Now take a risk, test, and experiment to see if your idea is realistic or useful… you’ll never know till you try!
Now you’re on your way.
Remember it takes practice and time to build mental strength for creativity, but well worth it.
As complementary activities check out your local arts and culture scene and organizations for courses and events.
Creativity expert. Award-winning artist and director. Okanagan arts, culture, and government advisor.