Anyone can learn to be innovative in their job, and there are techniques to facilitate the process.
During yesterday’s Lunch and Learn session, corporate management guru Paul Birch suggested a few solutions to make oneself more creative at work.
One of the main hurdles to creativity, according to Mr. Birch, is the limitations that formal education places on you.
Most education systems in the world value very structured, analytical thinking, and part of the process of creativity is getting yourself away from that structure to think of possibilities. Analysis does need to come into the process, but not at the point when you are coming up with ideas, he said.
Formal education teaches us that there is a definitive right answer to a question. But when you are talking about creativity, there is an infinite number of right answers. “Your job is to find loads of them and then pick some of the best,” Mr. Birch suggested.
“One of the biggest obstacles to creativity is the belief that you are not creative,” he added.
Mr. Birch also offered some more practical advice. To help unleash creativity, one needs to think more broadly about the subject. When imagining a paper clip, for example, instead of thinking of it as merely a twisted wire, it could be also a person holding a paper between their fingers, he suggested.
“Don’t think in the way you’ve always thought.”
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