Imagine you are hungry and all you have at home
is a coconut, some rice and an egg.
If you no clue and zero creative thoughts
you’d probably eat the raw egg with unboiled
hard rice while staring at the coconut.
If however, you have memories of your dad
cracking the coconut, and your mom boiling the rice,
your brain can connect the dots and form a new creative idea.
You boil the rice inside coconut water,
then fry it with the egg and add coconut flakes.
Enjoy the your meal!"
Creativity is our ability to look at a problem
and come up with a good solution to solve it.
Once we understand this, we realize
that it has nothing to do with the subject matter,
job or what we study.
There are creative inventors and creative artists,
but there are also very creative
cleaners and highly creative teachers.
People we worship for their creativity,
often just connect different ideas in a beautiful new way
and make them commercially successful.
While all of us are creative,
we differ in the way that we are and to which extend.
Michael Kirton came up with the Adaption-Innovation Theory.
He believes that when we solve problems
we are either more adaptive or more innovative.
People who are more adaptive-creative, try to do things better.
People who are more innovative-creative, try to do things differently.
To solve a specific problem,
say that of smelly cat litter,
both types would use a different approach.
More adaptive types look for a solution inside the box.
They might try to create better cat litter
by looking it's chemical properties,
then increase the size of the sand particles
and finally add some refreshing tropical scent.
More innovative creatives, think outside the litter box.
They come up with cat diapers,
cat schools for good manners or a robocat.
But there are also other differences.
Psychologist J.P. Guilford and some others argue that there is divergent and convergent thinking.
More divergent thinkers are better at coming up
with many ideas when they see a problem.
Convergent thinkers see all the details
and are better at narrowing down the options.
A diverse team is hence usually most effective
when trying to solve problems.
A divergent thinker can list many ideas.
After a convergent thinker can then look at each
option in detail and then pick the best one.
The result is better than if anyone would do it by themselves.
A murder mystery experiment
involving two groups of students
shows how creative diversity works.
Group A was full of students from the same background.
Group B were also all similar but joined by one single stranger.
The students from group A enjoyed the process
and felt like they worked together every well.
The students in group B didn’t like having a stranger in their team,
but they solved the mystery twice as fast
and won the race.
The researchers concluded
that the stranger added a new perspective,
making the group think harder,
and making them more careful of drawing fast conclusions
or falling into group think.
The result was a more intelligent problem-solving process.
If we want to become more creative,
we first have to build a collection of knowledge and memories,
ideally by seeking new experiences.
Only then we can increase the dots in our
brain that we can connect.
Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School,
recommends that parents should fix things at home
all by themselves.
Their children then learn that problems can be solved
by ourselves and in many different ways.
Jack Matson, professor of creativity at Penn State University,
recommends to dress for failure.
This gives us a new perspective
and the ability to play new roles.
Marc Schwyn, founder of MinuteVideos
suggests practising saying yes!
Because whenever we say yes,
we open the door to a new experiences.
Can you help me?
Want to try my ice-cream?
Can i talk to you?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
We recommend you to do one thing you have never done before
every day for at least one week, maybe a month.
Call your weird aunt,
talk to a stranger,
eat using your left hand,
or take a really really cold shower.
Every evening write down what you did
and what you’ve learned from it.
Start with the first new thing right now
and share your experience in the comments below right after.