Wanted: Creative Thinkers

Published Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5:22 PM

What does it take to be a CEO? Brains, business acumen, vision, drive? All good guesses but according to a new study  by IBM, creativity is the most important leadership quality for CEOs.

Generating Creativity

At Beyond Folders, we frequently blog about how to enhance critical skills for workplace success. Reading about the IBM study's finding that creativity plays a crucial role in achievement has me wondering; is creativity an innate talent or is it possible to enhance or foster creativity? 

According to creative triple-threat Tony Schwartz, an author, entrepreneur and productivity expert, creativity can be trained and strengthened just as you would any muscle. In a recent Huffington Post article 6 Invisible Secrets to Fostering Your Creativity, Schwartz posits that there are six fundamental moves that anyone can take to fuel creativity. The steps include:

Meeting Your Needs. Creativity requires energy. Assess what unmet needs (sleep, diet, job, family dysfunction, etc.) are sapping your energy and take steps to ameliorate those obstacles.

Training Creativity Systematically. Understand what Schwartz and others call the five stages of creative thinking and work to train them: first insight, saturation, incubation, illumination and verification. Schwartz steers readers to Betty Edward's book Drawing on the Artist Within for more insight on the stages of creativity.

Nurturing Your Passion. Place yourself in roles that excite your imagination. Every job has aspects that are enjoyable, challenging and meaningful. Identify steps for spending more time engaged in the aspects of your job that nurture you. Creativity will follow.

Making Your Work Matter. Human beings are inspired when they contribute to something larger than themselves. How can you expend energy at work on contributing to others?

Making the Time. Creative thinking requires open-ended, uninterrupted time, to reflect, meditate or daydream. Schedule this time as you would any other must-do task.

Valuing Renewal. Understand that you are not a machine that can hum along working indefinitely. Schedule breaks - time to rest or move your body - these shifts in consciousness can allow creative breakthroughs.

How do you foster creativity for yourself?  Your colleagues or subordinates?  Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Bradley Eggers


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# Blondie said on Saturday, January 07, 2012 11:06 AM

Not bad at all fellas and glaals. Thanks.

# Kalin said on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 6:57 AM

Thanks for starting the ball rollnig with this insight.

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