How creative thought can be leveraged to increase ideation and innovation

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Professional attributes

Often a creative person is defined as an artist, an inventor, or illustrator, someone involved in the visual arts. However, everyone is creative. The ability to cultivate original ideas, to be imaginative, to problem solve, communicate with others, or entertain ourselves, all require creativity, and all form the basis of innovation.

Creativity is not about making something, but as the root meaning of the word suggests, it means 'to grow'....grow new ideas, new thoughts, new perspectives. Creativity can be either emotional or cognitive, spontaneous or deliberate. It can be solving a problem in a new way, taking risks, or facing fears. It can be breaking the routine and doing things differently.

Being creative can help with problem-solving in all areas of life. In the workplace, creativity helps us to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or new possibilities that may be useful in solving problems and communicating with others. It has also been researched to decrease negative emotions, stress, anxiety, and improve health and happiness.

What does a higher score mean?

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You are creative, able to connect seemingly disparate ideas and originate new ideas. You use your imagination and thoughts to create new solutions to problems or alternate ways to do things and like to see your ideas turn into reality.

What does a lower score mean?

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You do not embrace your creativity, though what you do may be creative in ways you do not attribute to this attribute. Perhaps you are not given the opportunity to create, ideate, or innovate at work, but can seek new ways to problem solve.

To nurture your creativity:

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Try to see things differently and gain a new perspective. Walk a different way to work, or go to a different coffee shop en route to work, you will meet new people and spur new ideas. Read, meditate, write or watch a TED Talk to give your mind the space to reset and flood with new ideas. Ideas lead to innovation, so share those ideas freely and let your imagination run with new ideas. Where there is uncertainty, engage curiosity and divergent thinking.

Use this checklist for self-evaluation

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  • Are you given the opportunity to share and grow ideas?
  • Do you have the chance to share ideas at work?
  • Can you engage curiosity and collaborate with your team?
  • Are you able to express yourself and your thoughts in your teams?
  • Do you feel stress or anxiety at work when sharing ideas or collaborating?
  • Do you love what you do?
  • Do you feel a purpose?
  • Do you feel inspired and love to innovate?
  • Is there an opportunity to actively participate in problem-solving?
  • Do you give yourself the opportunity “unplug” (do nothing)?
  • Do you take walks? Do you read often?

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