We live in a competitive world. To compete we must improve. To improve we must change. To change we must start doing something new, and stop what we have been doing that doesn’t help anymore. Business creativity at its most basic level is the process of finding that something new. Innovation is the process of selecting, combining, refining, and turning the best creative ideas into reality. Successful companies have learned how to exercise both processes.
In the Good Thinking Series I go extensively into how thinking and intelligence are different. In short: intelligence is our innate mental capability - what we're born with. Thinking, on the other hand, is how we learn to use our intelligence. Just like any other skill that must be practiced, thinking must be constantly improved, challenged, expanded, and exercised!
This is where thinking and creativity go hand in hand: better thinking leads to better creativity and BOTH must be exercised consistently. Can you imagine going to Sochi without years of conditioning, exercise, training, and practice? Of course not! This is not to say that it takes years and years to develop great creative thinking, but it does mean that it doesn't necessarily come "naturally."
Some tools that I use in GTS to provoke better creativity are things like "The Junk Drawer" (more about this later). What these tools do are not necessarily to increase the cognitive snap - the "aha!" moment that everyone looks for in creativity. Other tools that you can do on your own: reading things out of your ordinary scope of intake, talking with new people, challenging yourself to a new activity, and more things that stretch your brain!
Stay posted for more on how to make 2014 your most creative year yet!