What if creativity wasn’t some mysterious notion that struck, not when we want it, but when we least expect it? What if creativity was something we could access daily?
Indian business news publication Mint recently posted an opinion piece in which the author, Rajiv Jayaraman, discusses the current narrative surrounding creativity — specifically, that creativity is not a lone genius working in isolation or any kind of serendipitous occurrence.
Rather, creativity is a process that can produce consistent results when applied correctly; it’s about “ordinary people leveraging the community.”
Jayaraman eventually gets to everyday creativity, something he describes as “the ability to unlock creative superpowers at will every day,” and focuses on how to hone that ability:
1. Identify the Problem You Want to Solve.
Ask yourself, “What problem do I want to solve?” This will help you get passionate about the problem space, the range of components that exist within the process of finding a solution to a problem:
- Define the problem.
- Identify and test possible solutions.
- Choose and implement a solution.
There are smaller steps between these stages, but these are the three biggies.
2. Plunge Yourself in the Problem Space.
Jayaraman suggests talking with various people, observing things in their natural environment, and seeking input to develop a strong point of view.
3. Explore Social Networks.
As Jayaraman points out, “any creative process is, by definition, prone to high failure rates.”
What you can do is harness the creativity of people in your network to stimulate your learning curve and open up new ways to look at the problem. You can then test out your solution in a safe environment, or environments, and begin perfecting it.
Jayaraman sums up by stating — correctly? boldy? — that “creativity is not about being artistic, it is about a mindset.” You get in the mindset that you care about the problem, you look for solutions to the problem, and you charge ahead trying out solutions until you find the best one.
When you look at it like that, it makes a lot of sense describing creativity as a mindset. Actually, when we describe it like that, creativity sounds more like a science than an art, doesn’t it?
Given that Mint is a business publication, it’s a fairly safe bet that Jayaraman is talking about creativity in business. However, I think it could be applied to creativity in all areas of life.
So, what do YOU say about it all? Does creativity sound like something you can tap into more easily — and on command — if you approach it the way Jayaraman outlines? Do you agree or disagree with how “science” it all sounds, or does that make more sense to you?