So often creatives are separated from the logical thinkers, citing left brain, right brain tendencies. It’s not really a fair representation of people and how their brains reason. Leonardo da Vinci is a classic example of a creative thinker with a brilliant logical mind as was Steven Jobs, Einstein and Picasso. If you’re a creative, you probably have a better chance of solving real world problems than rocket scientists focused solely on math and logic.
We’re in the midst of a cultural revolution sparked by technology. Creative thinkers aren’t just the ones who sketch out the pretty colorful iPhone cases, they were part of the creation of the technology. First it had to be imagined. It was the creative individual who drove the possibilities behind new products, innovations and how to market those products.
Maltese-born, Edward de Bono, father of lateral thinking said, “Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.”
De Bono was a Rhodes Scholar who held appointments at Oxford, Cambridge, London and Harvard. His theories and ideas are impressive, albeit sometimes odd, but that doesn’t mean that they are wrong just because I don’t understand them. In fact, his book, The Edward de Bono Code Book, which attempts to take phrases and translate them into a code using numbers is outside my vein of thinking, but for him, reducing arguments to a numbers’ language can provide more opportunities for resolution because it takes the emotion out of it.
He is best known for his theory on lateral thinking. To employ this concept, de Bono suggests looking at a problem and solving it by coming at it laterally, in many different ways. For example, if traffic is backing up in a certain intersection, one might solve the problem by changing the traffic light sequencing. Lateral thinking looks at why there is congestion, could there be too many cars at a given time, can those cars be routed another way, etc. It is a holistic approach to thinking using “how and why the problem exists” instead of fixing the issue.
If you’re getting a headache, I understand. Creativity is a force, and managing it requires constant exercising. But if you can guide it, imagine the possibilities.
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Creativity is not something that should be woken up when needed. It should constantly be challenged, especially today in a world where nothing is impossible – think: 3D Printing of a heart. In the 21st Century, creative thinkers hold the key. More than 100 ways to expand your mind is waiting at MyDesignShop.com for under $40. Challenge yourself, challenge your staff, challenge your clients. Do big things. Save the world.