6 Things You Can Do to Boost Your Creative Intelligence
Creativity … elusive and prized … and in all of us
Companies and the people who work for them push for efficiency. Profits grow when we get more done in less time with the smallest amount of resources.
But all this streamlining can take us only so far. Innovative thinkers are in high demand. According to Bruce Nussbaum, author of Creative Intelligence, “The true source of economic activity is creativity.” Now, if you’re thinking, I’m not really the creative type, Nussbaum believes that we are all born with a capacity to be creative, and it’s not hard to relearn. It is not rare and it is not random.
Expanding a bit further, creativity itself, is not the same as creative intelligence, according to Robert Sternberg, professor at Cornell University. It is just one of three parts, that all need to be well developed for true creative intelligence.
- Creativity helps us generate new and interesting ideas — make connections, see patterns, find solutions from things you already know.
- Sternberg outlines the second component of creative intelligence as analytical — the ability to analyze and evaluate these ideas.
- The final component is practical — being able to turn all these ideas into accomplishments.
Sternberg further states that creative intelligence requires a balance among the three aspects. Without a balance, you have someone spewing out lots of new ideas, but not knowing if any of them are worth anything, or not knowing how to turn them into a working solution or product.
Sternberg’s and Nussbaum’s assessments agree: Most people have the ability to be creative.
How can you be more creative?
- Step back. “Creativity is about making connections and seeing patterns,” Nussbaum says. It’s not the one eureka moment … it’s all the many ideas happening all the time. It’s when we allow our brains time to process and deliberately step away from all the connectivity that we become more mindful of what we’re doing.
- Small teams. Find a buddy or two that know you well, that you completely trust and work well with. Creativity is social and two (or three) heads really can be better than one.
- Read and/or expose yourself to new things and places. You’re feeding your brain new information.
- Journal. If you’re in a group setting, pass around a paper where everyone adds three possible solutions to a problem.
- Find creative intelligence books and classes to help you fully understand how to let your brain work its magic.
- Question the status quo. And, allow others to question you. It’s these diverse opinions that can push you and lead to new discoveries.