Creative thinking skills

From CEOpedia | Management online

In order to achieve high-quality, innovative and creative results, an individual or a group requires not only knowledge about creative process but also sufficient skills that are helpful in that process. They are named creative thinking skills.

Some creative thinking skills

Creative process thinking skills that can be used in the creative process include being able to:

  • clarify, analyse and re-define the problem or question to uncover new ways of looking at it;
  • ask thoughtful questions;
  • notice connections between seemingly unrelated subject matter;
  • challenge established wisdom by asking: how would I improve this?;
  • recognise alternative possibilities;
  • look at things from different perspectives.

Approaches connected to creative thinking skills

Creative thinking skills involve such approaches as:

  • Engaging in reflection;
  • Looking for many possible answers rather than one;
  • Allowing yourself to make wild and crazy suggestions as well as those that seem sensible;
  • Not judging ideas early in the process;
  • Treat all ideas as if they may contain the seeds of something potentially useful;
  • Allowing yourself to doodle, daydream or play with a theory or suggestion;
  • Being aware that these approaches necessarily involve making lots of suggestions that are unworkable and may sound silly;
  • Making mistakes;
  • Learning from what has not worked as well as what did.

Basadur`s creative thinking process skills

Basadur (1995) identified four creative thinking process skills within the Simplex process:

  • Active divergence - the ability to assertively generate a variety of options;
  • Active convergence - the ability to evaluate and choose from among options and advance the process;
  • Deferral of judgement - the ability to separate active divergence from active convergence;
  • Vertical deferral of judgement - the ability to avoid unconsciously leapfrogging past steps, phases or stages of the process;

Mastering the skills and the process enables individuals or groups to move about the process in different sequences as situations requires.

Examples of Creative thinking skills

  • Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a creative process that encourages a group to come up with creative solutions to a problem by generating a large number of ideas. It allows for the free flow of ideas and encourages creativity and divergent thinking, which leads to innovative solutions.
  • Idea Generation: Idea generation involves coming up with new ideas and solutions to problems. It is a creative process that encourages creative thinking and divergent thinking. It can include brainstorming, mind mapping, and other creative techniques.
  • Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to evaluate information objectively and make reasoned decisions. It involves analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information in order to come up with a solution or a plan of action.
  • Problem-solving: Problem-solving is the process of identifying and resolving problems. It involves analyzing the current situation, identifying the problem, generating solutions, and implementing the best solution.
  • Imagination: Imagination is the ability to think of new ideas, visualize solutions, and come up with creative solutions to problems. It involves using your imagination to think of possibilities and possibilities that may not be obvious.
  • Flexibility: Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing situations. It involves being open to new ideas, being able to adjust quickly to new circumstances, and being able to think outside the box.

Advantages of Creative thinking skills

Creative thinking skills can be incredibly beneficial to any individual or group trying to achieve high-quality, innovative and creative results. Some of the advantages of these skills include:

  • Enhanced problem-solving ability - Learning creative thinking skills can help individuals and groups better and faster solve problems, as they are better able to identify problems, come up with outside-the-box solutions, and apply creative approaches to solving them.
  • Improved communication - One of the key elements of creative thinking is the ability to communicate effectively. Creative thinking skills can help individuals and teams improve the way they communicate with each other, allowing them to better express ideas, and build stronger relationships with each other.
  • Enhanced creativity - Creative thinking skills can help individuals tap into their creativity and come up with more innovative solutions. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals and teams looking to come up with original ideas and products.
  • Improved team performance - Creative thinking skills can help teams work together more effectively, and come up with better solutions to challenges. By encouraging creative thinking, teams can work together to come up with new ideas, and better utilize their collective talents.

Limitations of Creative thinking skills

Creative thinking skills are an important part of any creative process. However, there are some limitations that must be taken into account when employing them in order to achieve optimal results. These limitations include:

  • Time - Creative thinking skills require time and energy to develop, and not all situations will allow for this.
  • Motivation - Creative thinking skills cannot be employed without proper motivation. Without it, the process can become tedious and the results may be poor.
  • Experience - Creative thinking skills are typically developed through practice and experience. Without prior knowledge, the process of coming up with creative solutions or ideas may be difficult.
  • Resources - Creative thinking skills often require resources such as materials, tools, and technology in order to be properly used. Without access to these resources, creative ideas may be difficult to generate.
  • Knowledge - Creative thinking skills require an understanding of the subject matter at hand. Without sufficient knowledge, the process of generating creative solutions could be hindered.

Other approaches related to Creative thinking skills

Creative thinking skills consist of a wide range of approaches that help individuals or groups to come up with innovative ideas. These approaches include:

  • Brainstorming: A collective brainstorming session helps to unlock the potential of the group and generate a range of ideas. This can be done by encouraging everyone to think of as many ideas as possible, without judging or criticizing them.
  • Mind mapping: This is a type of visual thinking that involves creating a diagram with several branches to represent different ideas and concepts. It is used to explore potential ideas and find connections between them.
  • Reframing: This technique involves looking at a problem from a different perspective in order to come up with innovative solutions. It involves examining the problem from different angles, such as the psychological, political, or economic aspects.
  • Lateral thinking: This involves looking at problems from a different perspective by making unexpected connections between ideas. It is used to generate creative solutions to difficult problems.
  • Visual thinking: This involves using visual images to represent ideas and concepts. It is used to identify patterns and explore ideas in a more creative way.

In summary, creative thinking skills involve a range of approaches that help individuals or groups to generate innovative ideas. These approaches include brainstorming, mind mapping, reframing, lateral thinking, and visual thinking. These approaches can be used to generate ideas and come up with creative solutions to difficult problems.

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