Let it not be news exactly how important creative thinking is. Indeed, there is tremendous power by just being able to change your perspective from old to new. Not only it is critical in an organization’s progress, it makes people and business more enticing too. Remember, the market changes in alignment to the development of society’s mindsets. Linear thinking is simply a no go today, organizations need to step up and be interesting.
Contrary to popular belief, creative thinking is not exclusive only to a selected few. How so? Because it is abundant as in one’s mundane remark and everyday conversational terms –exaggerations, for instance (Let’s move mountains!). While this may come as a shock especially for those who claim to be an ‘uncreative’ person, newsflash: everybody practices creative thinking in their day to day without a conscious knowing. The truth is, your brain dives in and out of states of genius all day long –whether or not it is useful depends on his know-how at grabbing the opportunity to harness the ideas and use it in the most consistent of ways.
According to Wayne Morris, organizational creativity is a process whereby new ideas that help pave way to make innovation possible, are developed. It is a workplace culture where having ideas are promoted, captured, listened to and acted upon. Why do we stress on this? Lo and behold, many organizations are aware of the critical being of creative thinking and yet few actually know how to foster it. And even fewer implement it.
To become a breakthrough thinker, one must be willing to breakthrough himself first. Often people are so hung up on “making sense,” they close up the chances of bridging deeper levels to the subconscious. And the subconscious, mind you, is a great tool to creative thinking for it has a language of its own, often translated using humour, the illegal and the surreal to buy your attention. Here are some techniques which may be useful on the road to become a creative thinker:
1- Embrace Exaggerations. You could cringe but exaggerations can be very constructive ideas if one knows how to search for the underlying principles hidden within them. “I feel outstanding!” “Marry the customers!” “Let’s move mountains!” Yes, they may not make much sense in first blush and often silly if taken in the literal sense of the word. But the underlying principles are worth exploring –“moving mountains” for instance, may encourage enthusiasm, that is, to go the distance and set higher standards in order to achieve what one may initially find impossible. Don’t be quick to shun them. Remember; whimsical ideas are often those that are meaningfully vague.
2- Be curious about the world around you. Children are great case study when it comes to being curious so why not do something childlike once in awhile? They view the world in the most amusing of ways we adults often forget in the process of growing up. Sit and play on swings. Paint silly pictures. Have no preference in the books you read. Also, see the area you live/work in as a tourist would. How would you explore it if you were a tourist?
3- Daydream. Many people insert negative connotations to daydreaming, claiming it is a waste of time. But try looking at it in a different light. Not only does daydreaming relaxes your mind; also allows you to experience the deeper, intuitive processes of the mind. It is the time we dive into the deep recesses of our mind and enter what is known as an ‘alpha state’ –a state of pure relaxation, unfocused and one where out brainwave levels are low. To access this state, begin by breathing deeply and slowly, making sure that you hold your breath briefly between breaths. In fact, immersing yourself in a relaxing bath is also a very good way to induce this state. It may be no coincident that Archimedes’ famous Aha! moment happened while he was having a bath.