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Today's managers and leaders think of "creativity" rather than"creativeness". Our corporate culture has trained us to immediately think of results rather than seeking to be the kind of people who achieve them, which is little like putting the cart before the horse. We, too often, look for something which can be measured and therefore controlled. We use the word "Creativity" with the underlying intent that it can be a measurable quantity, whereas creativeness is not. It is a quality of the person.
Creativeness is something entirely natural, like the budding of a plant from a seed. Because it is natural, it cannot be forced to produce, commanded or demanded.
There are no recipes for creativeness. It happens in one's presence at the spur of a moment.
For organizations to compete for the critical "talent war" ahead of us, they must rethink cultivating creativity, but more importantly creating an environment for people to naturally bring out their latent creativeness -which exists in all human beings. Organizations who figure out how to do that will be able to attract and retain the best talent.
So how can one develop this competency of "creativeness" in day-to-day work?
Develop greater awareness of situations and problems, viewing them with bare attention. In this way they will be seen with clarity.
- Look at situations with sincerity and detachment (very hard to do). This means recognizing and admitting to yourself your own involvement.
- When you have observed the problem in this way, do not put it on one side, but bear it in mind for however long is necessary. Don't force to seek the solution- let it come to you.
- Take care to notice the intuitive signals, whatever these happen to be in your case. Eventually a solution will occur to you - anytime, anywhere.
- Look at the solution you have discovered with clear comprehension of purpose and suitability. Not all intuitive and creative ideas you get are necessarily right or practical.
- Validate its value if it was realized, shop it around, lens it from varieties of perspectives - customers, peers, leaders, suppliers, markets, etc.
- Finally, act on it. Ideas and solutions are of no use, if they are only confined to private realities.
Recommended books on creativity (accessible online):
- Handbook of creativity - Robert J. Sternberg
- Cracking Creativity: The secrets of Creative Genius - Michael Michalko