Strategies

Strategies tools and habits to improve your creativity

Some people are brilliant at thinking up original ideas but don’t have the persistence to work them to conclusion. Others have the persistence but lack the originality. We all have strong and weak phases.

Some of this is to do with your personality — but not all. Everyone can benefit from deliberately using the habits and strategies used by those who are strong in the phases where they are weak. These are outlined below. Using the correct mind-set is also crucial.

Please see ‘How to be Better at Creativity’ by Geoffrey Petty (Kogan Page) for the detail of using tools and mind-sets to improve your weak phases. This can be ordered from Amazon books by simply clicking here – Amazon books.

Inspiration can be improved by experimenting with the following strategies, tools, and habits:

Association and movement; analogy; searching oblique sources; trawling; CAP; learning without copying; brainstorming; backtracking; random association; provocations; changing focus etc.

Clarification can be improved by experimenting with the following strategies, tools, and habits:

Open and closed clarification questions; stepping up and down the thought action continuum; using ‘OR!’ ‘UNLESS!’ and ‘NO!’; denial, reversal and reframing; the decision making compass; manifestos; walking the dog; tolerating ambiguity; mind-mapping; planning cycles; etc

Distillation can be improved by experimenting with the following strategies, tools, and habits:

turning weaknesses into needs; parallel development; logo pogo; swot analysis; Buridan’s ass; amalgamation; checklists ; distillation questions; etc

Perspiration can be improved by experimenting with the following strategies, tools, and habits:

increasing self-belief; drafting; bursts; scouting parties; ignoring difficulties; timetables, deadlines; arousal; and by making effective use of the perspiration mind set.

Evaluation can be improved by experimenting with the following strategies, tools, and habits:

focussing on improvement and learning; evaluating the work rather than the worker; clarifying who is in charge of the evaluation process; clarifying whether you are conforming or just influenced; and tools such as mentor; parallel versions; parallel edits; culling; abandoning drafts; bottom drawer; etc

Incubation can be improved by experimenting with the following strategies, tools, and habits:

finishing a work session by reviewing issues and difficulties; avoiding anxiety and building self trust; making use of half wakefulness; reverie; random association; accidents; etc

‘How to be Better at Creativity’ explains all the above strategies, tools and habits in detail. You can order a copy from your library, bookshop, or by using Amazon.

Petty’s ideas are well established in the field of education where his ‘Teaching Today’ is a standard and popular teacher training text. The Fourth National Symposium of Education and Creativity in China recommended only four books for those trying to develop the creativity of their students. How to be better at Creativity was one of them. It is on the booklist of many creative degree courses.

His ideas are now spreading into business, management and other fields. ‘How to be Better at Creativity’ was commissioned by the Industrial Society, and has now been translated into three languages.