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Tips to Maximize Creativity at Work July 23, 2013

Posted by keithsawyer in Enhancing creativity.
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These tips, from Scientific American Mind, are all also found in the book Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity:

  • Become an expert. You need a solid knowledge base. (Zig Zag Chapter 2: LEARN)
  • Observe. Carefully study how people use what they currently have, and what problems they face. (Zig Zag Chapter 3: LOOK)
  • Know your audience. Walk in the shoes of the intended consumer. (Again, LOOK)
  • Step out of your comfort zone. Seek activities outside your field of expertise. (LOOK again)
  • Be willing to work alone. Balance group time with alone time.
  • Talk to outsiders about your work. This helps with novel perspectives. (Research on how to balance solitary and group time is in my book Group Genius)
  • Have fun. A good mood helps! (Zig Zag Chapter 4: PLAY)
  • Take a nap or let your mind wander. Sleep and daydreaming can get you past the impasse. (Again, PLAY)
  • Take a break. Occupy your mind with a different task. (PLAY again!)
  • Challenge yourself. Disrupt your daily routine. Go beyond your initial idea and look for more. Try to improve on other people’s answers. (Zig Zag Chapters 5 and 6, THINK and FUSE)

This is a wonderful set of advice, prepared by Professor Evangelia G. Chrysikou of the University of Kansas.

Comments»

1. Cameron D. Norman - July 23, 2013

Reblogged this on Censemaking and commented:
How to maximize the creative potential of what you do? Becoming good at something is a huge start. But what if getting good at being a generalist is what you aspire towards? It’s an interesting challenge for those who see value in those with the kind of cross-disciplinary, multi-faceted sets of skills often needed to thrive in complex social systems, but resist specialization. What do you think?

2. curiosityjunkie - July 25, 2013

@cdnorman I couldn’t agree more, and for a professional example: moving from specialist discipline like industrial design toward a participatory approach to design [such as service design] has been extremely challenging but I would recommend this book, which highlighted why being trained to be an expert can narrow one’s career options as your interests change: “shifting to a participatory mindset meant learning to be the facilitator and translator of ideas rather than the creator” worth a read… http://goo.gl/GpxCAv

keithsawyer - July 25, 2013

The book looks interesting: it’s about “generative design”

Cameron D. Norman - July 25, 2013

Indeed it does. Great to have such a share — and a nice addition to your set of tools already shared in your books Keith.


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