Creativity – it’s about having wild ideas

Posted by on February 14, 2013

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In my previous post I pointed to my first free nugget – a short video titled:

I also wrote about some thoughts from Tom Peters on ‘the nature of work’.  One of Tom’s messages was that as automation and artificial intelligence extends into the workplace, creative jobs hold the key for future employment and economic growth.

However, in many nations, education systems over the years have not fostered the development of creativity amongst students.  While this may be changing, for many of us, creativity is not necessarily something that comes easily.

In addition, over the past ten years (in particular) we have witnessed some dramatic changes in our work environments, with computers bringing automation and integration on a massive scale, while at the same time outsourcing and/or off-shoring of jobs has occurred in many sectors.

The bottom line here is a ‘double-whammy’:

  • businesses and corporations must become more efficient in terms of cost-savings and revenue generation to survive, meaning much change and upheaval in the workplace; and
  • we, as workers in businesses and corporations, need to find ways to develop our creative skills so we can remain employable in the new workplace.

This post’s free nugget is a short article “Got a wild idea?” about the creative process and ’thinking outside the box’.  You have probably heard this term, or one similar (e.g. ’beyond the box’), many times.  Often it comes as something like: “you need to learn to think outside the box”.  The problem is, “how” do I learn to think outside of the box?  It’s all very well for someone to tell me what I “need” to do, but wouldn’t it be really nice if they took the time to tell me “how”?

Well, finally, I have come across someone who does that for me!  The author of the nugget, Dr Lum Phui Yuen, is from ThinkingSphere, a Singaporean company that works with its clients to develop creative leaders and teams.  I have summarised Dr Lum’s work in the diagram below:

This four-step approach offers a simple structure for thinking outside the box

Four-step approach – creativity process

As you can see from the diagram, ‘thinking outside the box’ is only a part of the creativity process.

Now, if someone makes a comment to you about ‘thinking outside the box’, you have a structure to use that will not only get you started, but it will also see you through the whole process.  Finally, to bring your idea into reality, you must execute your plan.  When you do this, you are moving from creativity to innovation.

You will find Dr Lum’s article informative but easy to digest.  In keeping with my “5-minute read” criteria; I would expect it should take about 3-4 minutes to read.  Here is the link to Dr Lum’s article:

I will continue further on the creativity topic in my next post.  In the meantime, enjoy the free nugget!

Coming next:  The difference between Creativity and Innovation


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