Everyone knows that creativity is important. Parents know the value of play for their kids and our most innovative companies know it too.
If it works for our children and for the most-skilled among us, what’s stopping the rest of us?
In a massive IBM survey, 1,500 CEO’s from 60 countries chose creativity as the #1 skill required by leaders. Personally, I was surprised that the managers didn’t choose something like intelligence or the ability to communicate. (The managers I know often talk about feeling pressured to focus on achieving very-specific, narrowly-defined targets.) But they chose creativity.
Creativity, like memory, is a muscle. It won’t grow stronger if we don’t really use it. But as we spend more time with it, it can allow us to smash-through problems our earlier less-creative selves never could have.
It can seem hard to justify taking time-out to journal, to doodle or to go for a walk and ask ourselves some really unusual What-If questions, because we’re busier than ever. And we’re trying to be responsible. But building the habit of exploring all the possibilities in a situation, letting the subconscious mind weigh-in, can help us find the breakthroughs we need.
[blockquote cite=”Roger Von Oech” type=”left, center, right”]Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers — all depending on what you are looking for. But if you think there’s only one right answer, then you’ll stop looking as soon as you find one.[/blockquote]
Success is more a function of the quality of the decisions we make, rather than the resources we have available. It’s not what we have, but what we do with what we have. And it’s hard to find the best answers if we don’t take time to ask the questions.