I really enjoyed an interview I read where Peter Cook was interviewing Professor Adrian Furnham. For me, it was great to read an an article that was low on jargon and trademarked and what I see as the bulls#*t factor. Unlike a lot of academics work on creativity and innovation he speaks simply and realistically.He also acknowledges the hard work (as with any success) involved in developing a culture of innovation.
There was a nice sum list at the end the summed up the his view on encouraging personal creativity. Read the article, it’s great.
Furnham’s top creativity tips
PK: Given that creativity may be necessary but insufficient for an innovative enterprise, I asked Professor Furnham for his top tips to encourage personal creativity at work, learning and play:
AF : Here are ten simple but important ideas:
- Sleep on it: Come back to problems and issues. Let them fall fallow for a bit; stew; incubate. Revisit them when it suits.
- Read widely: Talk to all sorts of experts. Get outside your box. Talk to people who think about things differently from you.
- Don’t give up: Persistence is the key. Most attempts fail. Breakthroughs are rare.
- Take a Risk: Fear of failure, humiliation, teasing and abuse are natural enemies of creativity. Go on – play with hunches and tentative ideas. Break the rules. Take courage.
- Piggy back: Take others’ work and take it further. Put things together which do not fit.
- Identify peak times and conditions: Work out when and where you are at your best for idea generation and refinement. Set aside these times for those activities.
- Record your flashes: Have a place and method to record all ideas – some worth revisiting and incubation.
- Build your particular expertise/skill/knowledge: creativity is always skill based. Get to the cutting edge of your chosen area…..there is no substitute for this.
- Question and Probe the obvious: Take little for granted; turn things upside down; celebrate similarities and differences.
- Lighten up: Be playful; use humour; have a sense of the absurd and the ridiculous.