#Creativity #How to be more creative #Six Thinking Hats
Listen to this piece of music. What do you think about the musician who composed this piece? What are the processes involved to produce superb music like this? The composer is one Arron London, a 22 year old composer and musician who plays drums, guitar, piano, saxophone. He eats, sleeps and breathes music… and has no business being as talented as he is. Music is the reason why Aaron exists. He creates the music and then learns to play the instrument that he want to hear in his music….not the other way around. When he’s around you just feel that he’s seeing more, listening more, and paying more attention. What’s goes on in his head that turns everyday events into brilliant sounds? What can a musician teach those of us that work in companies about creativity? We need to be creative to find the right solution for the customer. We need to be more creative when we have less time and we need to do more. We need creativity to kick start innovation. So maybe we have lots to learn from someone who livelihood depends on it.
Creativity is more than having an idea
Have you ever had a brilliant idea? It came to you out of the blue. You tossed it around and shared it with a few friends…but basically you did nothing with it… only to find that 6 months later that someone has become a millionaire overnight…with your flipping idea! Unless you convert your brilliant ideas into something tangible then that is what they will remain. Brilliant ideas! You may be very imaginative but how creative are you? If you asked most people if they considered themselves creative they would probably say ‘no’. That’s wrong!
Everyone is creative. In fact if you can dress yourself and throw a meal together then you are creative.
So why do people say that they are not creative?
1. Because we see the masterpiece of what someone else has produced and we judge the end results rather than judge the processes.
2. Because most educational systems knocks the bejesus out of any creativity that you have. I can speak from personal experience about what my education did to my creativity… but I won’t!
3. Because we have busy lives. We are on the go all the time. Who has the time to stop and wait for the creative juices to flow?
4. Because are afraid that people will laugh at us. Tom Pellereau was a candidate on the British version of The Apprentice. He is an engineer and inventor. He came up with the idea to make the curved nail file. Lisa Duan came up with the onesie, Shaun Puffrey invented a comb that detangles hair called the Tangle Teezer. All of them have 2 things in common. All of their friends laughed at them and they are all very wealthy.
5. Because we are riddled with self-doubt. It’s not that we don’t get the bright ideas is just that when they come we dismiss them as ridiculous or just plain dumb.
What is creativity?
Well, if you ask the dictionary it will tell you that creativity is the ‘Use of the imagination and original ideas to create something’.
That’s not a very creative definition is it? Socrates talked about creativity as being visited by demons. The ancient Romans said that a person was visited by reality. Einstein said that creativity was intelligence having fun.
The view that seems to prevail is the notion that some people are creative and some people are not. The creatives are the lucky so and so’s that can make things, solve problems, sing, paint, dance and we lesser mortals just have to admire them from the side lines. For most of our lives we are told that the only way to think is logically. When as children we wanted to think outside the box, play with the box or even get inside the box we were told in no uncertain terms not to be stupid. It is just as well that Edison the light bulb man and Alexander Graham Bell the telephone guy didn’t take logic all that seriously. Indeed if it wasn’t for some pretty sharp creative thinking here and there we would still be sitting on our haunches in the dark in a cave somewhere. Everything that you can see, everything that you enjoy, everything that you can do today is the result of someone’s creativity.
Arron says that creativity is like a butterfly. Let’s explore… You know how delicate and fragile butterflies are? You also know that they don’t live for long. Creativity flutters around bringing with it all sorts of outlandish and crazy ideas. It does this to test how receptive you are. If you poo poo the ideas then creativity will not visit again. You’re done! Everyone is creative…but everyone is creative in different ways. An idea comes to you from your imagination or day dreams and cross fertilizes with your unique way of seeing things, your experiences and your smartness. If you do not grasp the idea it will simply move on to the next person. Your creativity is as individual as you are and at the same time it is universal. Creativity is not precious. It visits anyone… old, young, rich, poor…whoever! It comes in the dead of the night and wakes you out of your sleep or it comes while you are washing the dishes. It is said the Einstein’s theory of relativity came to him on the bus. Archimedes theory came to him when he was in the bath. King Robert the Bruce of Scotland figured out how to overcome his enemies by watching a spider while he was holed up in the woods. My point is creativity comes when it comes all you have to do is pay attention and be ready.
What creative people have in common?
-One think I noticed whilst talking to Aaron is that he doesn’t question where his creativity comes from he just trusts what comes and he trusts that he will capture it and make something of it.
Self-doubt is the enemy of creativity.
-Creative people pay attention to life. Their antennae is always up.
-Creative people have a wide and wonderful interests and an even wider circle of friends. Sometimes the brilliant idea come from old folk who have been around longer. Nothing is new. It’s only being rehashed and rejigged. I get a lot of kudos from my son, when he hears me singing along to the latest tunes. Little does he know that the songs that I sing along to are usually a rejig of another song. [Case in point: ‘Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke is a r.jig of an old Marvin Gaye tune from the 70’s. Blurred Lines was successful because it was new but somehow familiar]. It is also good to notice what is trending with the young folk. One of the reasons why Madonna has enjoyed longevity in her career is because of her ability to keep an eye on what’s new and fresh on the streets with young people.
-One of the key features of a creative person is their ability to deal with failure. Every attempt at getting their dream into fruition is one step closer. Many laughed at Edison and his attempts to invent the light bulb, but he just keep going. Creators have a special relationship with failure. It’s a romance, a dance and for them all information is feedback.
– Creative people go it alone and this requires great courage and self-belief. It is difficult to stay on track when no one understands what you are going on about.
-Creative people are willing and to suffer for what they do. Of course everyone wants to be recognised for what they do but that is not the sole motivation of the creatives. To express themselves in what they do is as vital to them as the air they breathe.
If you have ideas you are imaginative when you turn the ideas into action then you are creative.
-Creative people live in the moment. That is to say they pull ideas from everyday situation and experiences. The guy that developed the selfie stick was mentally available when he saw people struggling to take pictures of themselves.
Setting the scene
-Change up your routine. Routine means that you have a mind-set that is set. There is no room for creativity. Set your mind to open, curious and receptive mode.
-Be super observant. Go to the park and just watch people. Better still go to the play area and have a go on the swings.
-Listen to people. What is it that they are talking about or even more to the point what are they complaining about?
-Stay in the here and now.
-Move. Put on some music and jump and prance around your living room. Pretend you are Michael Jackson and then do your best Elvis impression. Do not take yourself so seriously. No one has a PhD in creativity.
-Get yourself a standing desk. They are brilliant because they allow the blood and oxygen to circulate around your body more efficiently…which includes your brain.
When an idea comes… play with it have fun with it. Ask yourself the “what if “if you do this then the ideas will start to come thick and fast. At first my creativity butterfly fluttered around in the most awkward of places. I would be standing in line in the bank minding my own business…when an idea for a story would pop into my mind. Guess what…no pen and no computer. I would chant the idea in my head over and over again, hoping that I wouldn’t forget. The idea stayed with me long enough for me to turn the key in the lock to my apartment and then it was gone. Poof! I have learnt that creativity doesn’t make an appointment!
It is important not to censure or judge the ideas. Creativity is very fickle and very sensitive. Here are 3 creativity workouts for you to play with…
1. How would you go about surviving if you were a fugitive on the run from the police for 28 days? Don’t even think about contacting your family and friends… your calls will be detected. They will be watching to see if you use credit cards…so you can’t use them. There is surveillance everywhere so you cannot use major roads or shops….you need to go undercover. What would you do to survive?
2. You are stranded on a desert island and the only thing you have is a paper clip. Name as many things you could do with your paper clip? Come up with at least 15.
3. How would you explain what you do for a living to a classroom full of 5 year olds?
4. Learn to juggle. Take up photography or painting. Learn to dance. Learn to say ‘good morning’ in 10 different languages.
When creativity comes to visit
-In order for creativity to come knocking on your door you have to create an environment that it will feel nourished in. When an idea comes no matter how of the chart…embrace it. That idea may not be the one… but the one behind it just might.
-Do not share your ideas with anyone until you have enough traction and no one can put you off your stride. I don’t think that people poo poo ideas intentionally it’s just that your friends, family or colleagues will not be in the same head space as you, you are the one that the butterfly visited not them so as much as they try they will not understand. You have to develop a relationship with creativity first and then once you make the ideas concrete you can share them….that’s the deal!
-Have access to pen or laptop. I have been known to write on my arm before. Creativity doesn’t care about the implement just as long as you get it down. Get the idea and write it down. You have to capture it. If not it will leave without a trace. All you will be left with is a nagging feeling that you should have done something. It’s a kin to the feelings you get when you think you forgotten to unplug the television.
Playing with your idea
-The problem with ideas is when they come its normal for you to think all things all together. It will work… it won’t work…nobody will buy into it…its brilliant…why didn’t I think of I before?
The Six Thinking Hat introduced by Edward De Bono is a cool way of playing with your idea. It is often used in creative arenas. The London underground map is a good way of describing the hats. The London underground map shows each direction in a colour code. If you want the Bakerloo line its brown. If you want the Northern line it is black and if you want the Metropolitan line then you need the blue. It is the same De Bono’s hats it directs your creative thinking. Each hats are coloured and relate to a different way of thinking.
White Hat. Approach your idea as a lawyer would. Gather all the facts and the data. Investigate what is out there on the web. What evidence do you have to support this idea?
Red Hat. Approach your idea as if you were defining your passion. What do you love about the idea? What does your gut instinct say about this idea? Give yourself permission to go with your feelings and emotions. What does this idea mean to you? Is it your passion?
Black Hat. Approach your idea as if you were a theatre critic. What don’t you like about the idea? Play devil’s advocate. A word of advice do not spend too much time being a critic. It could put you off for life!
Yellow Hat. Approach your ideas as if you were a dreamer. Now image that the world, the board room or your team loving the idea. Follow your dreams…where could you go with this idea. Allow yourself to bask in the glory….just for a little bit.
Green Hat. Approach your idea as if you were a builder. Take your idea and build on it. When you focus on your idea, do other ideas come to mind? What do you need to do to make this idea take off and grow?
Blue Hat. Approach your idea as if you were a police officer. Examine all the evidence you have gathered. What conclusions can you draws.
You can put each hat on… in no particular order and follow the directions of the colour. It is a very powerful tool and the results will be amazing. You’ll see!
Creativity is nature’s idea of continuous improvement. When it comes… treat it as a gift.
There some a point when you will have to release your creation back in to the world.
Here’s the thing and this is very important for you to understand. Once you have released whatever you have created to the world. It no longer belongs to you. There is no need getting sensitive about what people think about it. Some people will love what you do and some people will hate it. Yet the people who hate it may be the people that benefit the most in the end. Do not be disheartened. Do not let other people’s concepts of creativity define yours. Creative people travel light you are only as good as your next creation not your last. Every time you create you start anew. There is no back catalogue in the world of creativity. The only thing you need to do is be open. Follow the links…don’t judge. And trust yourself.
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For subscribers only…
How would survive if you were a fugitive from the law.
You get a tip of from a friend that the police are on to you. You have 1 hour to leave your home and disappear. You need to take all the things that you will need to survive for 28 days. The police have intelligence on your every move so you will have to go to ground. You cannot use roads, shops banks or any public places. You cannot call anyone as your number is bugged.
How original can you be… how creative are you be… how daring will you be?
Send me in no more than a couple of paragraphs how you would survive and I will send the 3 most compelling responses a copy of my book. You can choose from ‘Mind Synergy’ or ‘Engineer in Heels’.
Closing date: 30th April 2016