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Adding a process to creativity is not restrictive

By Richard White – de Bono Accredited Trainer.

Although many people think of creativity as being about a select group of unconstrained, “creative” individuals having inspirational ideas, the practical truth is very different. Inspirational ideas are great when they occur but we can sometimes wait a long time for them and there’s no guarantee that they will happen at all! Even worse, this perception of creativity leads people to believe that, because they don’t regularly have flashes of inspiration, they can’t be creative.

Practical, small steps

Our experience is that, in organisations and businesses, most creative thinking comprises useful ideas that help us move steadily towards our purpose rather than making gigantic leaps. Of course, the big leaps do happen, and when they do we seize them, but in the meantime we can keep moving forward with practical, day-to-day creative thinking. We all can, and do, have ideas and thoughts about how to make improvements, solve problems etc. So, we can all be creative, the questions is ‘how and when?’

Where do you get your best ideas?

At Indigo, we’ve asked a large number of people to tell us what they are doing when ideas come to mind. Their answers are surprisingly consistent: people have ideas when they’re engaged in activities like driving, cutting the grass, filing, showering etc. These activities often put our minds into Alpha state – relaxed but alert. The problem for most people is that when they’re at meetings, in discussions and under pressure to deliver results they are not in Alpha state. So, the ideas don’t come to mind when they’re needed.

Useful ideas when you need them

We can overcome these difficulties by applying a process that helps us to generate useful ideas when we need them. Ideally, this process should be easily learned and able to be integrated into day-to-day business practice. You don’t need any special equipment, reference materials or external input once it’s learned. Dr Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking™ does just that. It provides a systematic approach to creative thinking built around a set of powerful tools for generating ideas when they’re needed – creativity on demand, delivered by a process that enables rather than restricts.

Creativity when in meetings

Most of our clients tell us that they regularly look for creative ideas from groups of teams. Often these sessions end up disorganised, disrupted and with a despondent outcome. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats® provides a process that works alongside Lateral Thinking™ to add a process to your meetings that halves their time, doubles the effectiveness, improves collaboration and reaches consensus. Find out more about combining the two with Edward de Bono’s Course in Creativity™.

Doing more for less is perfectly possible with the right people, the right culture and the right skills and techniques.


More about Richard White
Richard White is a certified master trainer in Writing Dynamics™, Think on Your Feet®, The Skilled Presenter™ and Grammar on the Rocks™. He is also accredited to deliver Dr Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats®, Lateral Thinking™ and Power of Perception™.

He brings a wide range of practical business experience to his training. He has worked in a corporate environment as an engineer, before spending 15 years managing customer service, marketing and sales departments. He subsequently held a senior position on people development programmes in BT. His corporate career gave him both first-hand knowledge of day-to-day management issues and the opportunity to play a leading part in many cutting-edge projects.