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What comes to mind for you when someone uses the term creativity? Historically for me, it used to be artsy fartsy stuff, drawing…things that some folks might consider a waste of time, right? Let’s look at Apple (yeah, the company not the fruit). What a cool example of slamming the art and the science together to make something AMAZING!

This week, I had the opportunity to listen to Nate Davis from Apple talk about just that – creativity. Now, when I think of creativity, I immediately think of creative problem solving. Nate covered this in his presentation and listed the need for this skill as employers’ position to deliver results in the 21st century coupled with critical thinking and curiosity – all requiring creativity according to Nate.

The World Economic Forum is making some pretty bold statements like, “A recent IBM study of 1,500 CEOs revealed that creativity is the single most important skill for leaders. In a workforce preparedness study conducted by the Conference Board, 97% of employers said that creativity is of increasing importance.”

So, if this is one of the keys in the lock for employees to solve problems, leaders to make decisions and businesses to innovate and transform the marketplace, how do we go about developing it??

Here are some ways to improve your creative mindset:

  1. Have an open mind – Keeping an open mind demands understanding your own belief system, which is easier to do when you have introspection. Having an open mind does not mean that you have to change your own beliefs; you simply have to try to listen to other points of view without automatically shutting people out.
  2. Adopt a positive mindset – Remaining positive is essential to the creative mindset and in everything we do. It is easy to focus on the negative aspects of life because we are hardwired to remember negative information, but this will only lead to depression and self-fulfilling prophecies of failure.
  3. Ask why (HANDS DOWN my personal favorite) – Rather than accepting everything at face value, it is better to question. Questioning will increase creativity. It is important to question everything and get as many answers as possible. Find different opinions from different people and explore the answers that they provide.

Ok, so my MOM hated when I used that last approach growing up as it eventually got my butt shipped back to school after she tried to home school me for a year! BUT, that last one has served me well throughout my career!

How do you define creativity and what tips and tricks do you use to solve problems and make decisions in the workplace?

Send me an email at michelle@bossibly.com and let me know!!