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Creative thinking

What is creative thinking?

Creative thinking means ‘thinking outside the box’. It refers to a person’s ability to see and consider things in a new way. It can mean a new approach to problem solving or rethinking results from, say, a dataset.

What is creative thinking?

Creative thinking means ‘thinking outside the box’. It refers to a person’s ability to see and consider things in a new way. It can mean a new approach to problem solving or rethinking results from, say, a dataset.

Many employers look for the ability to think creatively in their employees. These employees bring new solutions and new perspectives to the workplace.

Brainstorming is a well-known form of creative thinking. By applying a wide range of brainstorming techniques, it is possible to come up with new solutions for every area of people’s professional and personal lives.

The realization that creativity does not come from some kind of mystical source of inspiration is important. Everyone has the capacity for creativity. It should be seen as a by-product of absorbing all kinds of content. Explaining problems and learning to deal with different types of media is also a form of creativity.

Creative Thinking definition

Creativity is a phenomenon where something new is formed. The newly created can be material as well as immaterial. Examples of immaterial things are an idea, a theory, a musical piece or a joke. Material things are, for example, a painting, a written text or a physical invention.

Creative thinking is thus a form of immaterial creativity. Once it is developed further, it could be turned into a material form of creativity.

Thinking styles and creativity examples

In addition to applying methods such as brainstorming, different thinking styles can also be applied to arrive at creative solutions. Divergent thinking and convergent thinking are the most well-known of these.

Divergent thinking

Divergent thinking is a style of thinking in which as many creative solutions as possible are devised and explored. This usually happens in a spontaneous and fluid way.

Converging Thinking

The term convergent thinking was coined by Joy Paul Guilford and is considered the opposite of divergent thinking. It involves giving the correct answer to standard questions related to an issue or topic. This does not require great creativity. Examples of this are a multiple choice test.

Lateral thinking

Lateral thinking involves an indirect and creative approach to reasoning that is not immediately obvious. The concept was first described by Edward de Bono and is based on reordering existing information to create new information.

Design thinking

Design thinking is a process aimed at creative problem solving. It includes thinking with a people-centered focus. It encourages people and organizations to focus on the people for whom they develop products and services. This ultimately leads to better products and internal processes.

Innovative thinking

Innovative thinking is ‘doing something new’. Or doing something old in a new way. Innovative thinking is important in business because the environment changes quickly. Organizations and people that keep doing everything the same way will eventually fall behind the competition. Read more about the method developed by Weiss & Legrand.

Why is creative thinking important?

Creative thinking is important because we quickly get stuck in the same thinking patterns. This also happens at work. Fixed thinking patterns can hinder innovation and progress and keep people on the same level.

By applying creative thinking we see that there are different solutions to every problem. Developing creative thinking skills, such as applying different thinking styles, can therefore be very valuable.

It also helps us to rethink our own assumptions, learn new things about ourselves and others, stay mentally sharp, and gain renewed positive energy. This then helps us to be more productive.

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Tips for Stimulating Creative Thinking

Successful people are often great creative thinkers. As mentioned before, creativity is not the result of a mystical inspiring force, but can be practiced. Practicing creative thinking every day helps to become successful in the future. The most important thing is for you to feel free in thought.

Below are some tips that can help you apply creative thinking.

  • Take risks and be curious. People who are adventurous are more likely to encounter new situations and therefore have more input to be creative.
  • Be playful. Sometimes it helps to deal with a problem in a laconic and playful way. This helps to manipulate the given problem and see it from a different angle. The biggest problem is sometimes that we put too much weight on a problem.
  • Ask the right questions. Curiosity opens an endless series of doors. Keep asking, for example with the 5 times why method.
  • Apply divergent thinking. Generate as many ideas and starting points for a problem as possible. This can produce a unique and unexpected answer.
  • Read. Go to the library and start reading. By including a lot of information, the fantasy is fed and you can stimulate creative thinking.
  • Become still. Meditation or simply taking a few deep breaths with your eyes closed can work wonders. Sometimes it is necessary to clear the head first, so that there is room for creative thoughts.

The articles associated with the creative thinking tag help you develop your creative ability.

Disney Method

April 3rd, 2023

Disney Method: this article explains the Disney Method in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful brainstorming technique. What is the Disney Method? Apart from being a legend in the film industry, Walt

Forced Connections

August 23rd, 2022

Forced Connections: this article explains the concept of Forced Connections in a practical way. After reading it, you will understand the basics of this powerful Creativity tool. What is are Forced Connections? Brainstorming in the business world can become stagnant…

Charette Procedure

April 5th, 2018

Charette Procedure: this article describes the Charette Procedure method in a practical way. After reading you will understand the definition, meaning and basics of this powerful brainstorming and creativity tool. What is the Charette Procedure? The Charette Procedure enables a…
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