How to spark your own creative thinking

by Daniel Batten on November 16, 2010

We hear it all the time – every industry wants more creative thinking – and equally many organisations seem to struggle to get it.

At times in your life you have played the role of a teacher, leader, parent, manager, coach or facilitator. Have you noticed that when you are in this role – the length of time you give someone to perform a task corresponds to the length of creative excuses they will create about why the task is not able to be done in the allocated timeframe?

Let me give an example: one time I was coaching a client on how to become more influential. One 0f the components we cover is metaphors and analogies – which are an incredible way to bridge the unknown to the known. He said he had a block when it came to creating metaphor – and was there a course he could do that would teach him how to get better at this.

I changed the direction of the coaching session on the fly and said “Right I’m going to give you 3 random objects, and you are going to immediately tell me how they relate to the value of your company’s software, ready go”. 180 seconds later, he had produced three eloquent, creative and compelling metaphor for how his software was like a house-plant, a pen, and a window. He was amazed.

But should it really surprise us to find out we are creative?

This is only amazing if we believe “I’m not creative”. all human beings are creative – it’s impossible not to be. We just make different choices about how we exercise our creativity.

Most people have become very creative with their reasons for why they cannot be creative. It is the few that bypass the creative excuses and go straight for simple creativity.

There is nothing to change in a person to “make them creative” – all that needs to happen is a subtle shift that redirects that creativity. Giving someone insufficient time to think of excuses is one great way to bypass the “creative excuse” generator and go straight to the “creative action” – which is more value to everyone concerned.

Surprise yourself today by giving yourself an unreasonably short time to perform a creative task.

– give a talk about the benefits of using a random object with only 3 minutes preparation

– create 3 metaphors in 3 minutes, without evaluation

– generate 3 reasons why this process wont work. Write them down, see how creative you are in your excuses already, then laugh and say to yourself “with awareness of my creativity – I’m now going to refocus my attention on simply being creative”.

Expect magic.

May this day be spent beyond the ceiling.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Daring Donna November 17, 2010 at 7:42 am

Yes Lets open our individual and collective creative abundance and play!!!! Lets even go as far as cocreating a whole new world!!!

I will cocreate with you a world without exchange of a solid material matter like money and give, give, give again and know that I will get, get and get again.

I will cocreate with you a world that is peaceful. Yes lets put down our guns and stand face to face with our enemy on the battle fields around the world and look into their eyes for 3 minutes.

I will cocreate with you a world where everyone shares what they have so every family has a home, grows their own food, gives food to the neighbours, has fresh living water to drink daily and embrace their creativitiy beyond the celling of survival.

I will cocreate with you a world where every living being and system is honoured and our compassion is extended to all living things. We have no need to eat anything with a face or a mother and when we eat the living plants and fruits, nuts and grains we give thanks for their life sustaining ours.

I will cocreate with you a world where dying is accepted as part of the living experience. We accept death and celebrate it and honour those who choose to die when they do and allow them to pass with ease and grace and non violently.

I will cocreate with you a world where we appreicate and embrace this moment of unpresedented abundance!!!!!!

I will cocreate with you a world of great beauty, joy and freedom. Where every living thing including humanity stands in its own power and truth.

Yes gorgeous man, we are creative. We are creative in our excuses, in our wars, in our deaths, in our violence, in our starvation, in our homelessness, in our scarity, in our frustrations, in our hatreds …….. I’m so up for a whole new world of creativity. Its time to pull up all the tar seal roads in Aotearoa and teleport around the country yep pee and we can !!!!!!

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