We are not designed to be creative.

“Believe it or not.  You are not born creative.  Or at least you are not taught to be a creative person in most of your learning life.  Don’t expect that there are certain genes from your creative father or mother will be activated one day in your working life as a designer.” said me.  This is a rather demotivating comment given by me in a class of learners.  If I end my class with this comment, I believe that at least half of my class will be gone in the next session. 

I was once asked to give a small sharing session to a class of future designers.  When I walked in the classroom, I could sense the air of freedom surrounding me.  All walls including the ceiling were hanged with all sort of assignments of students.  I had a bunch of youngster dressing “differently” seating in front of me.  Thanks for my psychology training, their facial expression and body language told me that “Where does this boring chap in his stupid suit come from?” 

Then, I start my class with my first comment above and ask the question of how many answers that they can get out of “1+1”. 

We are all born and trained to follow rules,  familiar practices, safe path, and not making mistake.  Conventional (routine) approach leads to predictable results.  Most of us do not like surprise.  But creativity rely on a different thinking style.  We need to get rid of the habitual thinking.  I am not telling you to break all rules and laws (or you will end up in jail).  All problem must start with a purpose.  We can be creative in our product design, in our speed to market, in our packaging, message about our product, etc.  Unless you find a purpose of being creative in your dress code or the ear ringsssss or where to put your endless ringssss, we don’t need to be creative in every aspect of one’s life. 

Among all other tools: Here is a “3 + A” steps for you to practice you creativity.

  1. Find a topic or purpose. 

  2. List all the characteristics, features, functions, appearance, feeling about “it” (can be a product, a service, or anything else). 

  3. Question all all the items of the list. 

  4. “A” is attitude; after we have good understanding and discussions by going through the step 1 to 3.  we need to apply a playful attitude to do “what if”.  A good understanding of the customer of your products or services will be an advantages of finding a right creative features for your customers.  But don’t fall into the trap of conventional thinking.  People always believe they know everything and all their thinking is framed when making choices. 

The success of a creative product (effectiveness of the creative thinking) is about the success of finding a successful purpose at the beginning.  The quality and quantity of the creativity (efficiency of the creative thinking) is about success of the thinking process.  There are many method that people can apply in creating a new thoughts.  Creativity can be learned.  People can uplift their creativity with proper training.  Of course, there are talented person who own all the right attitudes and skills of being creative.  But organizations practise group thinking and believe that a mixture of talent give better result than any one human’s mind.


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