What is creative thinking and why does it matter? In today’s constantly evolving world, people who can think creatively are highly sought after. They have an innate ability to see things through a different lens. They can see patterns and make connections that others cannot. They are flexible and can pivot when change inevitably comes – a valuable asset no matter who you are or where you are.
Simply put, creative thinking involves the ability to come up with something new or unique. And whether you believe it or not, you are creative – you can and do think creatively. It may just take some encouragement and a better understanding in order to embrace the skill of creative thinking.
What Are the Different Types of Creative Thinking?
What are the different types of creative thinking? The 5 main types are:
This type of thinking involves testing ideas or assumptions that are generally accepted. Via divergent thinking, multiple solutions to problems are explored.
Lateral thinking doesn’t follow a linear path and doesn’t tie to earlier thoughts. Lateral thinking is literally “out of the box” thinking.
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Aesthetic thinking involves producing something pleasing to the senses. Contrary to popular belief, aesthetic thinking can be learned by anyone.
Inspirational thinking is similar to experiencing a “light-bulb moment” where a moment of inspiration strikes, and a new thought or concept is born.
Systems thinking involves seeing how things connect to form a “whole.” People who excel at systems thinking can “connect the dots” to see how changing one thing can impact an entire system.
What Is the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking?
The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking is a test to assess an individual’s creativity. It is often given to school-age children as part of an overall assessment when a child is being considered for an advanced placement program or entrance to a specific school or program. It is often given alongside a cognitive exam.
Created by Ellis Paul Torrance, the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking is both a figural and verbal exam to evaluate and identify creative potential. The test uses image-based exercises to test different mental characteristics. Businesses can also use this test to determine a potential employee’s creativity.
How to Improve Creative Thinking Skills
Everyone is creative, but some people have never been shown how to access their creativity. If you have always thought of yourself as a linear thinker, you are probably asking, “How can I improve my creative thinking?” Thankfully, it is possible to improve your creative thinking skills – and it’s not as hard as you might think!
Here are our top tips to help you think creatively:
Let Your Mind Wander
Let your mind wander and let go of all assumptions. If you are trying to solve a problem for a client, step back and go for a walk. Sometimes when you let your mind off of the hook and give it a chance to relax, great ideas come your way.
Find a Creative Mentor
Is there someone in your industry known for their creativity? Ask them if you can shadow them for a day or buy them a coffee and find out how they get their creative juices flowing.
Diversify Your Thinking
Get around people who are not like you. Our minds don’t have to be as creative when we associate with people who are just like us and think like us. When faced with differing viewpoints, we can be encouraged to think differently and see things from a different perspective, which can serve to spur on our creative thinking.
Be Thoughtful About Timing
Pay attention to when you feel the most creative during the day. For example, some writers know that they write the best at a certain time of day. Take notice of when your creative juices flow easily and adjust your schedule accordingly.
Why Is Creative Thinking Important to Business?
You may ask, “Why is creative thinking important to business?” It’s simple – there is always a better way to do something.
The good news is that creativity isn’t about art – it’s about how we see and approach the world around us. And everyone possesses creativity when it comes to that – yes, we’re talking about you.
Creative thinkers offer unique perspectives. Some of the most creative thinkers in business were the competitive advantage their companies had – Steve Jobs is just one of many examples.
Creative thinking doesn’t necessarily mean you do something that has never been done before – although it can. Take Steve Jobs – in 2001, everyone was already talking about the death of retail (yes, even back then). What does Jobs do? He launches the very first Apple store – a step towards analog in a digital world. Yet, Apple did it differently – incorporating open floor plans, beautiful aesthetics, and a Genius Bar to get accessible help from experts.
Creative Thinking – Not Just for the Artist
Your resume and work should reflect your excellent creative thinking skills. At Management Consulted, we ensure you communicate your creative thinking skills on your resume or in your next interview. Also, if your workplace is looking for ways to foster and increase creative thinking, we offer corporate training to help your employees develop new frameworks and best practices. Start today – you’re only one step away from unleashing your inner creativity!
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