Creative thinking can be learned
Although I only follow the political and economic developments from the sidelines, it is not difficult to conclude that creativity is needed these days. In my opinion, the tried and trusted answers and structures no longer suffice. Now more than ever, we need original and innovative solutions.
What we need, therefore, is to think creatively. But, as someone asked me recently, is everyone capable of that? Yes, I firmly believe that creativity is a skill. Learning how to think creatively can be taught. It is a skill that you can develop, train and practice. Just like learning to play tennis.
In my course ‘Lateral Thinking’, I give people a nudge by presenting them with ‘provocative statements’. For example: Let’s say a car does not have a steering wheel. How do you get from A to B?
The situation is absurd because the most obvious and essential elements have been removed. It is a situation that, at first glance, does not appear to have a logical solution.
I encourage people to form new connections, i.e. free and uninhibited links, and in my experience this leads to fantastic ideas every time. Often, these solutions are neither logical nor practical, but that’s neither here nor there because with Lateral Thinking (unlike a brainstorm session) you continue to talk and think until an idea becomes both logical and feasible.
So, even though with tennis not everyone will end up in the Wimbledon finals, learning how to hit a ball is definitely within everyone’s reach.